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How Will Infidelity Affect the Outcome of My Divorce?

Law Office of Ivy L. Graham June 10, 2022

Broken heart labeled "infidelity"No one expects their marriage to fail when they embark on that new chapter. Unfortunately, marriages break down for many different reasons, a common one being infidelity by one or both spouses. 

In some states, adultery does not have much of an impact on the terms and agreements of a divorce. However, in Louisiana, infidelity may be considered by a judge when determining various aspects of the divorce settlement, including the division of marital assets and property. 

At the Law Office of Ivy L. Graham, we’re committed to offering knowledgeable advocacy and genuine support to individuals and families throughout the divorce process. We’re available to discuss your unique situation, including how factors like infidelity will impact your case. Our firm proudly serves clients across Denham Springs, Livingston, Holden, Colyell, Albany, and the rest of Louisiana.

Louisiana’s Divorce Laws

Louisiana is a hybrid state in terms of a divorce, meaning parties have the option of filing either a grounds-based divorce or a no-fault divorce. The grounds for divorce vary depending on whether a spouse wants to allege wrongdoing and the type of marriage.

Louisiana's no-fault divorce option requires that couples have lived apart for specific amounts of time. Spouses can pursue a no-fault divorce if they have lived separate and apart for 180 days and have no minor children, or if they have lived separate and apart for one year and have children from the marriage.

Fault and Adultery in Louisiana Divorces

Adultery and felony convictions are two fault-based grounds for divorce in Louisiana. As one of the two fault-based grounds for divorce, courts do not look upon adultery favorably when presiding over a divorce case. The accusing spouse must be prepared to provide clear and convincing evidence that the affair occurred. It’s not enough to simply suspect the other spouse was unfaithful in order to pursue a divorce on the grounds of infidelity.

Ways Adultery Might Factor In

Even in a no-fault-based divorce in Louisiana, adultery can impact the division of marital assets. When determining how to divide marital property, the courts will consider several factors such as:

  • How long the marriage was

  • The age and health of each spouse

  • The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition, preservation, and maintenance of assets

  • How the spouses conducted themselves throughout the marriage

  • Each spouse’s ability to acquire income or assets in the future

  • Whether either spouse wasted assets unfairly, especially in an affair

Living With Someone Else While Divorce Is Pending

Since Louisiana provides for infidelity as grounds for a fault-based divorce, living with someone else while the divorce is pending will likely cause problems for you in terms of the impact it will have on the proceedings. 

Dating during the divorce or living with someone may make your soon-to-be ex-spouse less willing to settle custody and parenting time issues reasonably and rationally. Also, your children may resist spending time with you if they know that your new significant other will be there. It can throw another painful and confusing dynamic into a situation that is already difficult enough. Similarly, the judge making the custody and parenting time determinations will not look fondly on the person who dates during a divorce.

Skilled Legal Guidance 

Every divorce is unique, yet a vast majority are also highly emotional. This is especially true in cases where infidelity is involved. In these situations, the guidance of a compassionate, skilled attorney is vital to the process. At the Law Office of Ivy L. Graham, we’re here to help. Call our office today to schedule a simple consultation with a skilled divorce attorney. We proudly serve clients across Louisiana, including Denham Springs, Livingston, Holden, Colyell, and Alba.