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How Does Infidelity Affect
the Outcome of My Divorce?

Rachel V. Triplett, Attorney At Law, LLC Feb. 28, 2022

Conceptual photo of a marital infidelityInfidelity is among extensive contributors to many divorces in Ohio and across the United States. Discovering that your partner is engaging in extra-marital affairs can be painful and heartbreaking. When this eventually results in a divorce, you may be wondering whether it will affect the outcome of your case. A knowledgeable Ohio family law attorney can help you understand how infidelity affects alimony, asset division, and child custody in a divorce.

At Rachel V. Triplett, Attorney At Law, LLC, I am dedicated to offering experienced legal guidance and reliable advocacy to clients in complex divorce cases involving marital misconduct. I can seek to discuss your unique situation, help enlighten you about the impact of adultery on divorce issues, including alimony, asset division, child custody, and support, and help you navigate key decisions in your divorce proceedings. My firm proudly serves clients in Georgetown, Adams County, and Brown County, Ohio.

Divorce in Ohio

Ohio is a hybrid fault state. This means that the state allows both no-fault and fault-based divorce.

No-Fault Divorce

In a no-fault divorce, there is no need to assign blame to your spouse for the marital breakdown or explain why your marriage ended in divorce. The acceptable grounds for no-fault divorce in Ohio include:

  • Incompatibility

  • Living separately and apart for at least one year.

Fault-Based Divorce

In a fault-based divorce, the spouse filing for divorce must show that the bad actions or behavior of their partner lead to the marriage breakdown. The acceptable fault grounds for divorce in Ohio include:

  • Adultery

  • Gross neglect of duty

  • Willful absence for at least one year

  • Bigamy

  • Fraudulent contract

  • Extreme cruelty

  • Imprisonment of the other spouse

  • Habitual drunkenness.

An experienced attorney can evaluate your unique circumstances and educate you about the different ways that infidelity might factor into your divorce matters.

Ways that Adultery Might Factor In

As mentioned earlier, adultery or infidelity is among the grounds for a fault-based divorce in Ohio. This indicates that committing marital misconduct may likely affect various divorce issues, including division of assets, alimony, child custody, and child support. Here is how adultery might factor in an Ohio divorce:

Alimony: When deciding whether to award spousal support, Ohio courts may consider adultery in combination with other factors that the judge considers to be fair and relevant. Regardless, there is no guarantee that infidelity will impact the award of spousal support.

Child Custody: In Ohio, custody is awarded based on the best interests of the children. Infidelity will not play a significant role when deciding child custody and visitation rights in a divorce unless the unfaithful parent intentionally exposes the child to an unhealthy or dangerous situation, thereby endangering the child's wellbeing.

Child Support: However, adultery or marital misconduct doesn't affect child support in Ohio. The Ohio court must follow the state's child support guidelines schedule, directly related to each parent's incomes, childcare expenses, and the number of children in the family when awarding child support.

Property Division: Lastly, adultery may be considered by the Ohio courts during the division of marital property, in limited situations, if there is convincing evidence that the unfaithful partner spent a large number of the couple's finances – income and assets – on funding vacations, trips, buying expensive items, and jewelry, for their secret mistress or lover.

If you are considering filing for a divorce in Ohio or already amidst the divorce process, consulting with an experienced family law attorney is crucial for proper guidance.

How an Experienced Attorney Can Help

Filing for divorce in Ohio usually involves a lot of complexities. Especially when your partner is unfaithful, you have to negotiate a divorce settlement, divide marital assets, establish alimony, child custody, and support arrangements. Therefore, if you are considering filing for a divorce and trying to understand how marital misconduct affects the outcome of your case, you need to speak with a knowledgeable attorney for proper guidance and to navigate key decisions.

At Rachel V. Triplett, Attorney At Law, LLC, I have the experience, diligence, and expertise to help individuals and families navigate the complexities of the divorce process. As your legal counsel, I can evaluate your unique circumstances and enlighten you about your possible divorce options. Also, I can help work diligently with all parties involved to negotiate a fair divorce settlement, seek to settle divorce-related issues peacefully, and help you move forward quickly. Using my in-depth knowledge, I can seek to fight vigorously for your best interests and review your financial situation.

Every divorce is unique. Contact my firm – Rachel V. Triplett, Attorney At Law, LLC – today to schedule a simple consultation with a knowledgeable family law attorney. I can offer you the comprehensive legal guidance and reliable advocacy you need to navigate crucial decisions in your divorce proceedings. My firm proudly serves clients in Georgetown, Ohio, and throughout Adams County and Brown County.