My Husband Cheated: Will I Get More in My Maryland Divorce?

Discovering that your spouse has been unfaithful is an emotionally wrenching experience, one that can understandably leave you searching for justice and recompense. If you’re facing a divorce in Maryland after such a betrayal, you might wonder if your spouse’s infidelity will factor into the division of assets or alimony decisions. Let’s examine how Maryland divorce laws address adultery and its impact on the divorce process.

1. Maryland is a No-Fault Divorce State – but Adultery is an Exception: While Maryland introduced “no-fault” divorces in 2011, which means spouses can divorce without establishing blame, adultery remains one of the grounds for an “at-fault” divorce. If one can prove that a spouse committed adultery, they can bypass the separation period typically required for a no-fault divorce.

2. Division of Assets: Maryland is an “equitable distribution” state, meaning marital property is not necessarily divided 50/50 but in a manner that the court deems fair. While adultery might sway a judge’s emotions, it does not automatically entitle the innocent spouse to a larger share of marital assets. However, if it’s proven that the cheating spouse spent marital funds on the affair (like gifts, trips, or rent for a lover), the court may compensate the innocent spouse accordingly.

3. Alimony and Spousal Support: Adultery can influence alimony decisions in Maryland. If you were financially dependent on your cheating spouse, and the court feels that the adultery was the reason for the marriage’s end, it might be more inclined to award alimony. Conversely, if the financially dependent spouse was the one who committed adultery, the court might reduce or deny alimony, considering the affair as a factor against them.

4. Custody and Child Support: In decisions regarding child custody and support, Maryland courts prioritize the best interests of the child. While adultery itself might not directly impact these decisions, the circumstances around the affair could. If, for example, the adulterous behavior exposed the child to harmful situations or individuals, it might influence custody arrangements.

5. Proving Adultery: It’s important to note that suspicions or accusations of adultery aren’t enough. For it to impact your divorce proceedings, you’ll need tangible proof. This might include photographs, messages, witness testimonies, or other evidence. Gathering this proof can be emotionally taxing and might require the expertise of a private investigator.

6. Emotional Impact and Legal Proceedings: While it’s natural to feel hurt and betrayed, it’s essential to approach the divorce proceedings with a clear head. Engaging in retaliation or trying to “punish” a cheating spouse through the legal system can complicate the process and might not be in your best interests in the long run.

Conclusion: The aftermath of an affair is emotionally complex and navigating a divorce in its wake can be challenging. While adultery can influence the outcome of a divorce in Maryland, its impact varies based on several factors. Seeking the counsel of an experienced divorce attorney can provide clarity, ensuring that your rights and interests are protected during this difficult time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *