It is not uncommon for divorce attorneys to receive a phone call from a person in a panic about an affair. Understandably, a person who has just learned that their spouse is cheating on them is often both hurt and angry. On the other hand, the person who has been caught cheating is often afraid. Sometimes the cheater is regretful of cheating and is fearful of losing their marriage, and other times the cheater is afraid that, as a result of their cheating, that they will lose all of their assets in a divorce.
The purpose of this blog posting is not to comment on extra-marital affairs. Affairs do happen. And when they do, the parties who are effected have legal questions. The divorce attorneys at Halcomb Singler, LLP, can assist those who are going through a divorce to understand Indiana law, how it applies to their situation and how to act with their best legal interests in mind.
Although this may come as a surprise, an affair may have little impact on the financial aspect of a divorce. This is because Indiana is a no-fault state. What that means is that when a married couple files for divorce the reason for the filing of the divorce is irrelevant. There is no financial penalty, per se, for a spouse who causes the divorce by having an affair. In Indiana there is no extra amount of funds, no alimony and no additional child support that would go to the party who was on the receiving end of the cheating. It simply isn’t true that a person will have to pay financially in divorce as a result of cheating alone.
With that being said, it is not impossible that cheating may have an impact on property division. In Indiana there is a presumption that the assets of the parties should be split, 50/50 when they divorce. However, a Court may deviate from the presumption if there is evidence that may be admitted to the Court that the cheating spouse dissipated marital assets through the affair. For example, if the cheating spouse spent thousands of dollars on expensive hotel rooms, gifts for the girlfriend/boyfriend, or used marital funds for some other purpose related to the affair, then the affair may impact the property settlement.
The reality of Indiana divorce is that most people are surprised that there is not more punishment levied upon a cheating spouse. While it is important for a person whose spouse cheated on them or a person who cheated on their spouse to share that information with their attorney, that information isn’t going to result on the cheater being put out on the street without a dollar to their name. As with all legal issues, each case is different and your divorce attorney will need to hear about the specifics of your situation in order to give you accurate legal advice. If you would like to meet with and Indiana divorce attorney at our Carmel office call (317) 575-8222 or click here.
**The attorneys at Halcomb Singler, LLP, are licensed in the state of indiana Indiana and do not seek to practice law in any jurisdiction in which they are not properly authorized to do so. The information contained in this blog is general in nature and should not be relied upon for the circumstances of any individual(s) or businesses.