When one of the spouses in a marriage cheats, it can be devastating. Cheating, also called adultery, is a common cause of divorce. If you are considering divorce due to adultery, you may be curious about whether the infidelity can affect the outcome. The answer is yes it can. It can change the way that a divorce determines alimony.
Alimony in Georgia
Alimony, sometimes called spousal support, is financial support that one spouse pays to the other. Typically, the spouse with higher income pays support to the lower earning spouse during, and sometimes even after, the divorce.
Spouses requesting alimony must prove why they need financial support and show that their spouse is capable of paying support. After those things have been proven, the court then takes several other things into consideration including, but not limited to, the following:
- The length of the marriage
- The physical condition and age of both spouses
- Each spouse’s earning capacity and financial resources
- The spouses’ standard of living during the duration of the marriage
- Each spouse’s financial and other contributions to the marriage
The court decides alimony on a case by case basis. There is no formula for calculating this type of support.
Georgia Adultery and Divorce
Georgia defines adultery as one spouse having sexual intercourse with a person other than his or her spouse while married. In Georgia, you do not have to actually prove that your spouse had sexual intercourse; you must only show that your spouse had the inclination and opportunity to do so.
How Adultery Impacts Alimony
When adultery results in divorce, the spouse that cheated is unable to receive alimony. It is not, however, enough that one of the spouses committed adultery; the infidelity has to be the reason for the divorce in order for alimony to be banned. For example, if one spouse cheated and the other forgave him or her and they continue to live together but divorce later on, the spouse that cheated can still receive spousal support.
Other Impacts of Adultery
Adultery in a Georgia divorce does not typically affect child custody. However, if the cheating spouse exposed the children to inappropriate things because of the infidelity, it can affect custody proceedings. Adultery will never have an effect on court ordered child support. Cheating can also have an effect on how the court divides the assets of the couple.
Consult an Experienced Divorce Attorney
If you are considering divorce because of adultery in your marriage, it is imperative that you consult with an experienced Georgia divorce attorney. Whether you were the cheating spouse or the faithful spouse, you need to know your rights and protect them. The attorneys at Lankford & Moore Law have years of experience helping their clients through the stressful and emotional divorce process. Contact them today to schedule a consultation.