Adultery’s effect on a divorce case in Georgia
Adultery on the part of one spouse can affect many aspects of a divorce in Georgia, including alimony, equitable distribution, and even child custody. If a spouse’s adultery was the cause of the divorce, the adulterous party is barred from receiving alimony. Thus, if you can prove that your spouse committed adultery and that the adultery caused the separation; your spouse will not be successful on an alimony claim in Court.
Alimony also comes into play in equitable distribution. Generally, equitable distribution results in splitting the marital estate 50/50, unless there is a reason to give one spouse a greater portion of the marital estate. One reason to give one spouse a disproportionate amount of the marital estate is the bad conduct of the other party, which can include adultery. If an adulterous spouse committed egregious adultery in the presence of the other spouse and/or children, this conduct may result in an unequal split of the marital estate. Similarly, if the adulterous spouse spent substantial marital funds on his or her paramour, the other spouse could get a disproportionate amount of the marital estate to make up the difference and even punish the adulterous spouse.
Alimony can also affect child custody. In determining child custody, the Court is primarily concerned with the best interests of the children. If a parent has committed adultery in the presence of the children and brings his or her paramour around the children, this parent is acting contrary to the children’s best interests, which could result in that parent losing a custody battle.