Infidelity makes up a large percentage of the cause for individuals seeking to divorce their spouse. In fact, until the advent of the “no fault” grounds for divorce in New York State in 2010, infidelity was one of only a handful of circumstances upon which someone could seek a divorce.
One of the first questions someone with a cheating spouse asks is what the effect of their spouse’s unfaithfulness will have on their divorce action. In reality, unless one can prove that marital funds were spent pursuing the infidelity so as to constitute dissipation of marital assets, the reality is that the Court will not take into account the philandering behavior in effecting an equitable distribution of marital assets.
Further, one parent’s adultery may be a factor to be considered in a custody dispute. Where the “best interests of the child(ren)” are a court’s primaryconsideration, conduct such as absenteeism towards ones own children in favor of the extramarital relationship or new family.