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How Does Infidelity Affect My Divorce Case?

Lebovitz Law LLC March 23, 2022

Senior Couple Arguing at HomeIf you suspect or know for a fact that your spouse cheated on you, you might wonder about the potential impact of infidelity on your divorce case. Whether or not adultery affects the outcome of divorce depends on state law and the circumstances surrounding the extramarital affair.

Unlike other states, Maryland allows spouses to use “adultery” as one of the grounds for a divorce. However, if you consider getting a divorce on the grounds of adultery, you may want to consult with an experienced family law attorney.

The skilled divorce attorney at Lebovitz Law LLC assists people in Towson, Maryland, with all types of divorces, including allegations of infidelity. The Towson-based law firm also provides legal counsel to people facing divorce in York, Baltimore County, and throughout the state of Pennsylvania.

Maryland Is a Hybrid Fault State

While many states grant divorces only on no-fault grounds, Maryland is not one of those states. Maryland is a hybrid fault state, which means spouses in Maryland can get a divorce either on fault or no-fault grounds. Adultery is one of the fault-based grounds for divorce in Maryland.

Maryland law recognizes two no-fault grounds when seeking absolute divorce:

  1. Mutual consent; and

  2. 12-month separation.

While it is true that most divorces in Maryland are filed under the no-fault provision, seeking a fault-based divorce can have a significant impact on the outcome of your divorce, especially if the other spouse cheated on you.

Adultery As One of the Grounds
for Divorce in Maryland

When seeking a fault-based divorce in Maryland, a spouse needs to prove at least one of the fault-based grounds for divorce. Maryland law recognizes the following fault-based grounds:

  • Cruel treatment

  • Desertion

  • Adultery

  • Insanity

  • Excessively vicious conduct

  • Imprisonment for committing a crime

Getting a fault-based divorce in Maryland can affect various aspects of your divorce, including child custody and division of assets. However, whether or not infidelity will affect your divorce case depends on the unfaithful spouse’s conduct. You might want to consult with a knowledgeable family law attorney to determine how adultery may impact your divorce and whether it makes sense to seek a fault-based divorce.

How Infidelity Might Factor
in Your Maryland Divorce

As mentioned earlier, getting a fault-based divorce can have a significant impact on your divorce in Maryland. Depending on the circumstances, infidelity might affect the following aspects of your divorce:

  • Child custody. Typically, adultery does not affect a divorce case unless the cheating spouse engaged in inappropriate conduct in front of the kids or infidelity had a direct impact on the child’s well-being. A parent’s extramarital affair may be taken into account if the non-cheating parent can demonstrate evidence proving that the infidelity hurt the child’s well-being. For example, if the cheating parent spent money on their affair while depriving the children of the financial support they need, the non-cheating parent may use it as evidence to be granted more custody or visitation rights. The same can be said if the parent’s partner has a criminal background or problems with substance abuse.

  • Division of assets. Proving adultery during a fault-based divorce in Maryland may also affect the division of assets. Typically, infidelity may affect the distribution of marital property only if the cheating spouse spent large amounts of money on the affair, including paying for expensive gifts and trips.

Contrary to popular belief, infidelity does not affect alimony awards in Maryland. If you wonder about the potential impact of adultery on your divorce case, you must speak with an experienced family law attorney in Maryland.

How Lebovitz Law LLC Can Help

If your spouse cheated on you or you have been accused of adultery in your divorce case, you might wonder about the effect of infidelity on your divorce case in Maryland. While adultery is a fault-based ground for divorce in Maryland, its impact on the outcome of your divorce depends on the facts surrounding the extramarital affair. At Lebovitz Law LLC, the knowledgeable family law attorney in Towson, Maryland, can analyze your unique situation during a consultation to determine if adultery will affect your divorce case. The attorney at Lebovitz Law LLC proudly serves clients in Baltimore County, York, and throughout the state of Pennsylvania.