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I cheated: How will this affect my divorce?

Having an affair or cheating on a spouse can spell the demise of a marriage, no matter how hard one or both parties work to repair the damage. Unfortunately, it can also make for an incredibly painful and contentious divorce because of the physical, emotional and psychological toll it takes on both people.

If you were unfaithful during your marriage, you are likely scared and anxious about how that behavior might affect your divorce. Below, we examine if and how infidelity can affect the various issues related to your split.

Financial repercussions

In accordance with North Carolina laws, if your ex requests alimony, the courts can award alimony based on your marital misconduct. In some cases, they may order more support than they would have if there were no marital misconduct. 

If you are the dependent spouse and cheated during your marriage or separation, then you will likely not be awarded alimony.

It is also important to note that infidelity will generally not influence the equitable division of assets, unless you spent significant marital assets on the affair. 

Parental repercussions

Barring certain exceptions, infidelity will not affect your parental rights or obligations. Your role as a spouse is different from your role as a parent, and infidelity does not make you less capable or fit to parent your child. 

That being said, if your actions put your child in danger or otherwise threatened his or her well-being, then the courts may determine that equal or joint custody is not in your child's best interests.

Other repercussions

Adultery can have a considerable impact on the divorce process itself, as it will affect the emotional state of the people involved. A person who feels ashamed or guilty may be more willing to give up property or rights he or she does not have to give up. A spouse who feels betrayed and angry may be unwilling to compromise during negotiations and seek litigation over solutions that are more cooperative.

Considering the various ways infidelity could affect your divorce and the process itself, it can be crucial that you consult an attorney who understands the challenges and complications of divorcing in the wake of infidelity claims. You do not have to go through this alone, and you deserve a fair, agreeable settlement.

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