A large group of adulterers may soon be revealed in Australia, and if your spouse is one of them and you decide to opt for divorce, you may be wondering how your partner's adultery may affect your divorce. Here's what you need to know:
1. Adultery as grounds for divorce
Prior to 1975, couples had to declare a reason for getting divorced, and adultery was one of them. Now, however, couples can get divorced for no reason at all. The benefit to this is that you don't have to waste time proving your spouse had an affair.
The downside, however, is that from a legal perspective, you cannot use the adultery as justification to get a larger settlement or more support.
2. Adultery as leverage
Although your lawyer cannot help you get extra alimony or custody time due to the cheating, you can use it as leverage with your partner. You planned to be with this person forever and they cheated on you. You can claim it is their responsibility to keep you in the lifestyle to which you are accustomed, and they may agree to that request.
3. Emotional abuse considerations
If your partner was emotionally abusive about cheating on you, you may be able to bring up the abuse in divorce proceedings. Examples of emotional abuse include blaming you for the cheating ('If you only . . . I wouldn't have to cheat', your partner may have said), calling you names or telling you that you are worthless.
Although emotional abuse doesn't affect your support payments in most cases, it can be used to bolster your bid for more custody, especially if your partner was also emotionally abusive toward your children.
4. Negligence and adultery
When people have affairs, they often become consumed by them. Try to remember if your spouse was ever negligent to the children because of his or her affair. For example, if your spouse was on a date and forgot to pick your child up from school, that could be considered negligence.
When trying to create your case, provide your lawyer with as many examples of this type of behaviour as you can.
5. Money spent on affairs
Finally, consider whether or not your cheating spouse spent a lot of money during the affair. If he or she lied to you about expenses, sold assets, took money from the family business or otherwise took money away from the family in order to have an affair, your lawyer may be able to try to recoup that money through the divorce proceedings. For example, you may be able to argue that you get a larger stake in your house due to all of the excess spending.
Keep all of this in mind and communicate with professional lawyers, such as those at Holloway Jenkins Lawyers, to build up your case.