What effect does marital misconduct have in a divorce?

Marital Misconduct and DivorceWith the advent of non-contested divorce, the standard is most states for a party to get divorced is to show that their marriage is irretrievably broken and that there is no reasonable likelihood that it can be saved. This standard, of course, can vary by state in terms of the specifics.  But the reality is that no-fault divorce is now uniform in the United States with New York being the last state get on-board in 2010.

The question many then have is about the marital misconduct may have when divorce is now no-fault.  The thought of many is with no-fault divorce, the conduct of the parties during the marriage is not irrelevant.

So, many think that having an affair will have absolutely no effect on their divorce.  They also think that other behavior that could be deemed marital misconduct no longer matters.  While fault on longer needs to be proven to divorced, this line of thinking still misses the mark in many jurisdictions.

The reality is that many state statutes allow for martial misconduct to be considered as one of the factors in deterring a just division of marital property and debt or spousal maintenance (or alimony).  When marital misconduct effects the best interests of the children in a custody dispute, it can also be a factor that can ultimately effect child custody.

So, while proving fault is not necessary to get divorced, fault can be considered in many jurisdictions.  Missouri is a jurisdiction for example that still allows family law judges to take it into account with property and debt division and spousal maintenance.

If you are going through a divorce and marital fault is a concern, Stange Law Firm, PC can help.  You can contact us at 1-855-805-0595.

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