When a couple first gets married, they don’t foresee infidelity and divorce in their futures; sadly, sometimes divorce is their best option.
Infidelity is one of the more painful and devastating forms of betrayal in a marriage. The trust and bond between spouses often diminish when one spouse is unfaithful, and recovering from these situations is a complicated and upsetting battle. For many, it is not a battle they are willing to make, leaving divorce as the only option.
Learn more about infidelity and divorce below.
What is the Legal Definition of Infidelity?
The legal definition of infidelity in Utah is voluntary sexual intercourse that occurs between a married person and another person who is not their spouse. It is also known as adultery and, in some extreme cases, is considered grounds for divorce.
Adultery in Utah
Twenty-one states, including Utah, consider adultery to be a crime. Though rarely prosecuted, it is a class B misdemeanor criminal offense. Adultery, in some cases, can be regarded as grounds for divorce. But because Utah is a no-fault state, infidelity is not necessarily grounds for divorce, though it can play a role during divorce proceedings. The couple may need to file for divorce for various reasons, such as “irreconcilable differences.”
Infidelity and Child Custody
In some cases, adultery can impact the court’s decision concerning child custody. Infidelity will only play a factor when the situation proves the unfaithful spouse’s inability to be a parent or that they demonstrate low moral standards. However, in most cases, adultery will not affect child custody decisions made by the court. The court determines child custody by looking at several factors. You can learn more about how child custody is awarded here.
Infidelity and Alimony
When there is a financial dependency from one spouse on the other, the court can order the spouse who makes more money to make payments to the other spouse. However, alimony may be denied if it can be proven that an unfaithful spouse (who makes less money) caused the marriage to end because of infidelity. Adultery will not play a role in alimony discussions if one spouse forgives the other for acts of infidelity.
Infidelity and Other Factors in a Divorce
In addition to child custody and alimony, extramarital affairs can affect other matters in a divorce. For example, infidelity can affect how assets and property are divided between the couple, but in most cases, it will not. In most situations, it will, however, impact settlement negotiations. The vast majority of cases involving infidelity will settle before going to trial.
Contact The Ault Firm
Infidelity and divorce are two of the most difficult experiences to cope with. A knowledgeable and experienced attorney should handle separations and divorces as a result of adultery.
The skilled lawyers at The Ault Firm have helped countless individuals with matters relating to their divorce. Our professionals can help you with child custody and visitation issues, alimony and child support payments, and more. If you are in the West Jordan or Salt Lake City area and need a divorce attorney, contact us to schedule your case review.