DOES THE AFFAIR MATTER IN DIVORCE?
I have been practicing law for 44 years, much of which has been focused on my matrimonial and divorce practice. The number one question I am asked is, “Does the affair matter in divorce?”
It’s not a simplistic answer. But, for the most part, Courts don’t give much or any weight to infidelity unless it is part of other egregious behavior affecting the family or results in substantial dissipation of marital assets. However, most divorce cases in Connecticut never end up at trial. Somewhere around 95% of the end with an out-of-court resolution. So, the question requires an answer that is related to settlement.
Here’s where it can get murky. When negotiating a settlement, infidelity on the part of one spouse can obviously stick in the craw of the other spouse. It can impede moving forward. It can result in vindictiveness that is inconsistent with an amicable divorce. Ultimately, it can affect parenting time and the bottom-line allocation of finances, including alimony and property division.
How one handles infidelity in the context of divorce is often pertinent to the outcome. The affair is often revealed by a spouse finding texts or email messages on a phone or other electronic devices. Sometimes suspicious spouses track with GPS. Occasionally, a private investigator is involved. Denial is not an option in these circumstances.
So, the affair can and sometimes does matter.
Broder Orland Murray & DeMattie LLC, with offices in Westport and Greenwich, concentrates in family law and divorce. Our attorneys are extremely knowledgeable with the issues of how and to what degree infidelity may impact the settlement and are experienced courtroom advocates in advancing and defending claims of infidelity.