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Can I Receive Spousal Support Because My Partner Committed Adultery?

Posted on in Spousal Maintenance

rolling meadows divorce lawyerInfidelity is a common reason for divorce. When one spouse commits adultery, the other is likely to feel betrayed and angry, and they may believe that their partner should be punished for their actions. The strong emotions that affect spouses in these cases may lead to disputes about issues related to a couple’s finances and other aspects of their lives that will be affected by their divorce. A spouse who feels that they have been wronged by their partner may believe that they are entitled to spousal support because the other spouse was to blame for the divorce. However, it is important to understand how the law addresses these issues and determines when spousal maintenance is appropriate.

Spousal Support and Marital Misconduct

Spousal maintenance is a form of support paid by a spouse to their former partner. Spousal support will only be appropriate in certain circumstances, and it is meant to ensure that both parties will be able to maintain their standard of living. Generally, spousal support may be awarded if one spouse has a demonstrated need for support because they earn a lower income than their former partner or because there are factors that affect their ability to maintain gainful employment, such as a disability or the need to stay at home to care for children.

While there are a variety of factors that may be considered when determining whether a spouse should receive support from their former partner, Illinois law specifically states that “marital misconduct” must be disregarded. Spousal maintenance is not meant to penalize a spouse for any actions they have taken, and whether a person was at fault for the end of their marriage will not be a factor that is considered when addressing this issue. Instead, factors related to the spouses’ respective personal and financial situations may be considered. These include whether each spouse is currently working or has the necessary education and experience to maintain gainful employment, whether the spouse seeking support contributed to the other spouse’s career advancement, how decisions about child custody will affect each party’s income-earning ability, and any other issues that may affect the ability to reach a just and equitable outcome to the case.

In some cases, previous agreements between spouses related to infidelity may be considered when determining whether spousal support will be paid. If a couple had a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in place that addressed infidelity, the terms of this agreement may be followed during their divorce. For example, a couple’s prenup may have stated that a spouse will not receive alimony if they commit adultery during the couple’s marriage. Even though marital misconduct usually is not considered when addressing spousal support, the terms of a prenuptial agreement may be upheld, and a request for spousal maintenance may be denied even if a spouse would otherwise be eligible to receive support.

Contact Our Rolling Meadows Spousal Support Lawyer

If you have questions about whether spousal maintenance will be a factor in your divorce, or if you need to determine how infidelity will affect the outcome of your case, Law Offices of Donald J. Cosley can provide the legal help you need. We will answer your questions and provide guidance on how to resolve divorce-related issues successfully. Contact our Arlington Heights spousal maintenance attorney today and set up a free consultation by calling 847-253-3100.



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