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Does Infidelity Affect My Divorce Case?

Law Offices of Fisher Wise May 30, 2022

One of the more common reasons for the breakdown of a marriage is distrust. This usually manifests itself in infidelity. In terms of the law, adultery is recognized as legal grounds for divorce. In fact, with over 3.2% of Tennessee couples divorcing per one thousand inhabitants in 2020, one partner committing adultery can have a massive impact on how the court will view the divorce.

At the Law Offices of Fisher Wise, I understand that divorce is stressful and complicated. Throughout my career, I have fiercely advocated for clients in divorces; helping seek fair compensation when infidelity was involved in the divorce. My Chattanooga-based firm proudly serves clients in Red Bank, East Ridge, Soddy-Daisy, and the surrounding counties of Hamilton, Bradley, Meigs, Bledsoe, Marion, Sequatchie, and Rhea, Tennessee, so reach out today.

Determining Fault in Tennessee

In Tennessee, there are only fault-based provisions for obtaining a divorce. Fault is proven through evidence, including giving testimony that the affair was the primary reason for the breakup of your marriage. There are several reasons for divorce in Tennessee: 

  • Adultery

  • Two years separation

  • Incompatibility

  • Impotence

  • Bigamy

  • Cruel or inhuman treatment

  • Neglect

  • Conviction of infamous or felony crimes

Another option is to simply tell the court you want a divorce based on "irreconcilable differences," which means you and your spouse can't get along anymore and no longer desire to be married.

Ways that Adultery Might Factor In

In Tennessee, alimony is the only thing affected by adultery. Courts delve into asset division and alimony in more detail, however. Essentially, it’s up to the court’s discretion, although it’s important to note that courts aren’t supposed to look at whoever was at fault when making those important decisions.

If you are the party that was cheated on, adultery will be an advantage to you during the division of assets. You will be able to request an unequal division of the assets as a result of your spouse's cheating. 

Unlike alimony, child support and custody shouldn’t be affected or changed due to the affair. Courts look at the child’s best interests, but sometimes, courts recognize or decide that a parent’s bad judgment, abandonment, or moving in with another person (all from the affair) can affect custody results.   

Living with Someone Else
While Divorce is Pending

Generally, a judge will not look favorably upon one party living with a non-spouse while the divorce is pending, especially if it can be proven that adultery was committed and led to the divorce in question. Still, while not technically adultery, it will affect the outcome of the divorce. If you’re sharing marital property with another individual than your ex, you may get fined and be required to reimburse them for that. 

Skilled and Experienced Legal Representation 

Unfortunately, in this day and age, many marriages involve the infidelity of one or both spouses. While some couples will attempt to work through it, the reality is that most couples cannot. If you are considering divorce due to infidelity, contact my firm, the Law Offices of Fisher Wise. My firm can help you better navigate those waters and make your divorce less painful and more beneficial to you. Call my Chattanooga, Tennessee office today to schedule a free consultation. I proudly serve clients in Red Bank, East Ridge, Soddy-Daisy, and the surrounding counties of Hamilton, Bradley, Meigs, Bledsoe, Marion, Sequatchie, and Rhea, Tennessee.