By Hope Tuber
Finding out that your spouse cheated on you is devastating. You are probably furious want to “get back” for the pain inflicted on you. If you have ever heard that you should not make any decisions while upset, remember it now. If you have never heard of that expression, I am now telling it to you. Divorcing your spouse is a big decision, even if you are the victim of adultery. You feel betrayed and hurt. However, if you believe that marriage counseling and or any other remedial efforts will not result in a reconciliation, here are some practical things to keep in mind.
First, if there are children, protect them from what is going on the best you can. It serves no one if you put your children in the middle of your divorce, especially if they know that your spouse cheated on you. Second, realize, that while cheating is a horrible thing, the adultery is not going to have a large impact on your divorce. Proving adultery is more difficult than you may think. When it comes to filing for divorce, your attorney will advise you to dissolve your marriage based on an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. It serves no real purpose on trying to pursue a divorce based on adultery. There is no advantage as there is no penalty in New York –unless the cheating spouse used marital funds for the affair. Also, if you insist on filing based on adultery, you may end up delaying the proceedings. Ultimately, unless your spouse spent significant martial assets in conducting the affair, the courts and attorneys will simply focus on equitable distribution maintenance and child custody—if there are children. Another factor to keep in mind is that if you insist on filing based solely on adultery, you will probably spend money in a trial which would be better utilized on your family.
As best as you can, focus on what is important to you, which should be moving forward with your life as quickly and efficiently as possible. Fighting in court because of the pain caused by your spouse will only increase legal fees and delay your ability to move forward.