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My Spouse Cheated On Me – Am I Entitled To More In My Chicago Divorce?

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The breakdown of a marriage can be the result of many different actions or inactions on the part of one or both parties, but one act that is very often a deal-breaker is infidelity. When a person “cheats” on his or her husband or wife, it can signal an “irretrievable breakdown” of the marriage that neither party can repair. While some couples are extremely committed and can weather an affair in the marriage, many marriages simply cannot survive the strain that infidelity inevitably causes on a marriage. In fact, 20-40% of divorces in the United States are caused by infidelity in the marriage.

For the spouse that has been cheated on, dissolution proceedings can seem like a good means through which to attempt revenge at his or her unfaithful partner. Parties going through the divorce process where infidelity has caused the breakdown of the marriage may wonder what their rights and options are under Illinois laws, and how the unfaithfulness of one party may impact their Chicago divorce. One of the biggest issues in a divorce is division of properties, debts, and assets. Accordingly, those who have been involved in a marriage where a spouse was unfaithful often wonder, “Am I entitled to more?”

Impacts of Marital Misconduct on Chicago Divorces

Infidelity is one example of what is referred to as “marital misconduct.” Marital misconduct is essentially a term for conduct that is believed to have caused the total breakdown of the marriage, resulting in the divorce. Infidelity is not the only type of marital misconduct. Other types of marital misconduct include financial misconduct, like overspending, criminal activity, and other severe actions that are simply unacceptable to the other party to the marriage.

However, no matter what type of marital misconduct occurred during the marriage, the simple answer in Chicago divorces when it comes to division of property and assets is that the law doesn’t recognize marital misconduct as a favorable or unfavorable factor. Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, in a divorce proceeding, an Illinois court shall “divide the marital property without regard to marital misconduct….” In other words, a judge cannot take marital misconduct, such as cheating, into account when making a determination regarding distribution of marital property.

Reach Out to Us Today for Help

When a divorce or potential divorce is the result of cheating in a marriage or any other marital misconduct, emotions can run high. Coupled with the complexities of the law and the importance of knowing the law when it comes to things like property division in divorce proceedings, it is always recommended that a person seek out legal help from an experienced Chicago property division lawyer. An experienced Chicago property division lawyer can analyze the facts of your particular case and circumstances and help advocate for your rights in your Chicago divorce. Call the experienced property division and divorce lawyers at Birnbaum, Gelfman, Sharma & Arnoux today for a confidential consultation to see if they can help you with your Chicago divorce.

Sources:

ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050k503.htm

psychologytoday.com/us/blog/better-divorce/202202/is-marriage-doomed-after-affair

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