How Can Adultery be Proven in Court?
While people may enter a marriage for various reasons, most people hope for their own happily ever after. Unfortunately, not every marriage is made to last, and couples get divorced. A frequent reason for divorce is adultery. A person who wishes to obtain a divorce because their spouse cheated on them must somehow prove the adultery in court.
Proving adultery can be tricky, as cheating spouses tend to act discreetly and take steps to hide their tracks. However you decide to go about it, you can prove your case using documentation of the adultery, like photos and videos, or circumstantial evidence. In today’s world, cheating spouses often communicate with non-marital partners on social media. It may be possible to find evidence like photos of your spouse with another person online. You can also talk to your spouse about their adultery. Sometimes, a cheating spouse will admit everything out of guilt.
Our Salt Lake City divorce attorneys can help you get your divorce and start your life with a clean slate. Call Overson Law, PLLC at (801) 758-2287 to set up a free, private legal consultation regarding your divorce.
Proving Adultery in a Divorce Case
Proving adultery in court requires evidence. Evidence of adultery requires far more than allegations of hurt feelings. You must go beyond feelings and come up with hard proof that your spouse cheated or had an affair. Evidence could include documentation of the affair, like a photo of your spouse and their sexual partner together, or an admission by your spouse.
You should think carefully before deciding to pursue a divorce based on adultery. There are other ways to obtain a divorce in which you do not need to prove fault. While proving your spouse had an affair may feel like a personal victory, it might come at great financial and personal costs. Fault-based divorces often take longer to settle, and people spend a lot of money on things like private investigators to gather evidence.
You might want a divorce because it could affect the financial outcome of your divorce. After a divorce, people must divide their marital property and settle issues of alimony and child support. If you can successfully prove adultery, you might be in a better position to get more alimony, property, and child support.
You should discuss with an attorney whether proving adultery is worth your time. Call our West Valley divorce lawyers for a free legal consultation as soon as possible.
Possible Evidence to Prove Adultery
If you want to file a fault-based divorce on the grounds of adultery, you need to prove that your spouse actually cheated or had an affair. It is not enough to prove they had the desire and opportunity to cheat. Your spouse must have also followed through with the affair. The evidence you can bring to court may depend on how your spouse carried out their affair. It could be difficult to gather proof if your spouse was very discreet about their adultery.
Videos, photos, and testimony may all be used as evidence of adultery. Some people hire private investigators to follow their cheating spouse and document any affairs. Any videos or photos obtained by the private investigator could potentially be used as evidence of the affair.
If hard proof of adultery is scarce, you might be able to build your case from circumstantial evidence. This could be evidence that does not directly indicate an affair but strongly suggests it. Things like credit card bills showing certain purchases, like dinner dates or gifts, could be used to support your allegations of adultery.
Online dating is commonplace today, and many cheating spouses set up online dating profiles looking for new sexual partners. If you find your partner’s profile, you can use it as evidence of adultery. However, a dating profile is not definitive proof. They might have set up a dating profile but decided not to follow through with an affair. Talk to our divorce attorneys about your case today.
How Adultery Affects a Divorce Case
In the past, divorce had to be based on some grounds of fault. In other words, one spouse had to somehow cause the breakdown of the marriage. There were numerous grounds a person could allege as fault for the divorce, including adultery.
Today, most states allow no-fault divorces. These types of divorces are commonly due to things like “irretrievable breakdown” or “irreconcilable differences.” A no-fault divorce can be granted simply because the parties no longer wish to be married, and fault need not be proved for the divorce to be granted.
If you decide to pursue a divorce based on adultery, the allegations of fault likely will not make much of a difference when it comes to getting the divorce. A divorce based on adultery is no more or less likely to be granted than a divorce based on no-fault grounds.
However, allegations of fault like adultery may influence alimony, property division, and child support decisions. If you prove your ex-spouse had an extramarital affair, you might be able to argue for greater alimony, more marital property, and more child support, depending on what state you live in. Discuss how adultery could affect your divorce with our skilled divorce attorneys.
Is It Worth Trying to Prove Adultery in Court?
Whether or not a fault-based divorce based on adultery is worth it is entirely up to you. However, you should understand that there are certain drawbacks to fault-based divorces. Fault-based divorces often take longer and are more expensive. A person will typically spend more time and money gathering evidence to prove adultery than if they filed for a no-fault divorce. You must also overcome the hurdle of actually proving adultery. If you fail to gather enough evidence, your divorce will not be granted.
However, if you believe you should get more alimony, marital property, or child support because of your spouse’s adultery, then filing a fault-based divorce might be worth the extra time, money, and effort. Our divorce lawyers will review your situation with you and help you decide the best way to pursue your divorce.
Call Our Family Law Attorneys for Help
If you believe your spouse had an affair and now you want a divorce, you may use your spouse’s adultery as grounds for the divorce. Our divorce lawyers can help you decide the best way to approach your case. Call Overson Law, PLLC at (801) 758-2287 to schedule a free, private legal consultation.