Does Adultery Affect Alimony in New York?

A man and woman sitting across from each other at a table with an alarm clock sitting on the table between them.

Not all marriages stand the test of time. It’s a hard lesson to learn, especially if it turns out that your marriage is one of the ones that ends in divorce. There are a wide range of reasons that marriages end in divorce, including spouses growing apart, financial problems, substance abuse, domestic violence, and intimacy issues. All those reasons are heartbreaking in their own way, but one of the most gut-wrenching reasons that couples breakup is because of infidelity.

While it’s possible for a marriage to overcome adultery, in most cases, when spouses cheat, it puts the final nail in their marriage’s coffin. Not only is adultery often a decisive end to a marriage, but it also can result in a messy divorce. Divorce negotiations can become contentious when cheating was involved in a couple’s split, especially when it comes to determining things like property division and alimony.

How Does Adultery Impact Alimony in New York?

In New York, alimony is generally referred to as spousal support. During divorce proceedings where adultery is involved, spousal support isn’t always impacted. This is because in New York, spouses can seek either a fault divorce or a no-fault divorce. A fault-based divorce means that you must provide grounds for seeking a divorce, such as adultery. A no-fault divorce doesn’t require you to provide grounds for seeking a divorce. However, even if a couple is involved in a no-fault divorce, there are situations where an extramarital affair must be considered when it comes to divorce negotiations in New York.

For instance, if a spouse used money from a joint checking account to fund their affair, including paying for expensive gifts, nights out on the town, and lavish vacations, the court may consider those actions, and their financial impact, when deciding how much spousal support a cheating spouse must pay or is awarded. To put it simply, if adultery has a direct connection with a divorcing couples’ marital assets, there’s a good chance that it will have an impact on how issues, such as property division and spousal support, are decided.

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For more information about how adultery affects divorce in New York, or to speak with our experienced divorce attorneys in Dutchess County, call us at (845) 203-0997 or contact us online today for a confidential consultation.

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