How an Affair/Adultery Affects Divorce
Are you concerned your spouse may be having an affair? If so, answer the following questions. Do you spend lots of time apart? Are you unable to resolve conflicts? Afraid to discuss your feelings? In denial about problems in your marriage? Living in a sexless marriage? Have you stopped saying “I love you”? Does your spouse avoid eye contact? Have you noticed your spouse seems guilty when you do something nice? If several of these factors are present in your marriage, there is a fair chance your spouse is having an affair. You should be concerned, because infidelity can destroy the strongest marriage, causing feelings of betrayal, hurt, distrust, and anger.
1. Causes of Adultery
There are two basic reasons spouses start an affair. Sometimes it’s just a spur of the moment thing when an opportunity appears and it’s difficult to say no after a few glasses of wine. More often, an affair begins while searching for an emotional connection with someone who pays attention and makes your spouse feel wanted. No matter what triggers an affair, should you forgive your spouse and try to save the marriage or should you get a divorce? That depends on how you feel about your spouse and children.
2. Reconcile or Divorce?
The basic question any jilted spouse should ask is: What do I want to do about the affair? Do I still love my spouse or do I want a divorce? Can I forgive my spouse? What about the children? Does my spouse want to leave the marriage? No matter who decides to leave, the result is similar. The major difference is who controls the situation. If the jilted spouse decides to divorce, that’s a positive step toward rebuilding his or her self-esteem. On the other hand, if the adulterer leaves, that adds insult to injury and makes it more difficult to forgive and co-parent.
3. How to Preserve the Marriage
If you decide you want to save your marriage because you still love your spouse despite the affair or because you want to protect your children, there are three things you need to do. First, find a counselor, because you need to share your feelings with someone you trust. Second, if you have questions about why or how the affair happened, you need to get answers. If you don’t get answers to all your questions, you won’t be able to stop thinking about the affair and it will ruin your chances of saving the marriage. Finally, understand the real reason your spouse isn’t telling you the whole story. They may be afraid you will leave, they may want to avoid hurting you further, or they may feel guilty about the infidelity.
4. Effect of Adultery on a Divorce
In the era of no-fault divorce, adultery generally has little effect on the division of assets or the custody of children. The major impact of adultery in a divorce is on the negotiation. It’s difficult to make rational decisions about what’s best for you and your children when you are angry, mistrustful, and feeling betrayed. If you are dealing with adultery while trying to settle a divorce, it’s best to choose attorneys who can work together to support you during this difficult time and help you keep your major goals and interests in mind when you are negotiating a settlement. That means you should select collaborative attorneys to help you through the adulterous divorce.
Adultery can destroy the strongest marriage, causing feelings of betrayal, distrust, and anger. Affairs begin on the spur of the moment when it’s difficult to say no, or more often, when a person is searching for someone to make them feel wanted. The basic question is, what do you want to do about the affair? Save the marriage or get a divorce? What about the children?
If you want to preserve your marriage, there are three things you need to do. Find a good counselor, get answers to your questions, and understand why your spouse isn’t telling you everything. Adultery has little effect on the division of assets or the custody of children. If you are dealing with adultery and divorce, it’s best to choose collaborative divorce attorneys to help you through this difficult time. The collaborative divorce process is conducted in a private setting which means that the dirty laundry doesn’t get aired in public thus protecting both of you. It is also a process that protects the relationships with your children because if you have children you will both continue to be important parts of your children’s lives. Finally, collaborative divorce is the best option for not wrecking the family’s assets and finances through a long drawn out court fight.