Wife and Husband Signing Divorce Documents

Will Infidelity Affect the Outcome of My Divorce? 

Rieper Law P.C. Aug. 25, 2022

Divorces happen for all sorts of reasons. Just like every marriage is different, every divorce will be different as well. Typically, the cause of the divorce doesn’t have any bearing on how it’s viewed by a court, but there are some notable exceptions to this rule. 

If you’re either considering divorce or going through a divorce already and are wondering, “Is adultery grounds for divorce?” or “How does infidelity affect my divorce?” give me a call at Rieper Law P.C. to discuss your situation with a family law attorney. My office is located in Des Moines, Iowa, but I’m able to serve clients in Polk County, Dallas County, Warren County, Madison County, Jasper County, Story County, and the rest of the state of Iowa. 

Iowa is a No-Fault State   

Divorces in Iowa are processed under the state’s no-fault system. In a no-fault state, divorces can be granted if there’s been a breakdown of the relationship and the marriage is no longer viable. It does not matter why the marriage has failed because this can be so subjective, and most judges do not want to weigh in on personal matters. However, the court may want some incite into why the marriage has failed, especially when those reasons may have an effect on the well-being of children. This could include using witness testimony from someone who knows the couple well or by providing evidence of infidelity if part of the cause of the divorce was adultery. When you work with a divorce attorney in Iowa, they will help you with this step. 

Ways that Adultery Might Factor In  

Typically, adultery will not affect the outcome of a divorce, but there are some situations in which it may factor in. One example of this involves spousal support (alimony). Alimony is never automatically awarded but is often granted in cases where one spouse was the breadwinner of the family or if one spouse is unable to support themselves on their own immediately following a divorce. However, if a contributing factor to the divorce was infidelity and it was discovered that the cheating spouse spent the couple’s joint money on their lover, a judge may consider awarding more alimony or for a longer period of time to the non-cheating spouse. 

Cheating may also be considered during asset division for the same reasons. If one partner misused joint assets in a way that depleted what would have been an equal share for each spouse, a judge may award more to the other spouse. In other cases, adultery may also be considered in cases of child support or child custody, if it can be shown that the infidelity reflects on the cheating spouse's ability to parent.

Living with Someone Else While Divorce is Pending  

When most couples divorce, one spouse will stay in the current home while the other finds a new place to live. In cases where adultery was the cause of the divorce, this can sometimes mean that the cheating spouse moves in with their new lover while the divorce is pending. While this is common enough, it can affect the outcome of your divorce. For example, if you live with someone else while you’re still married to your spouse and are using marital assets to finance your living situation, a judge may choose to award more money or alimony to your spouse to reimburse them for the amount you’ve spent. 

Trusted Guidance When You Need It Most  

If you’re in the Des Moines, Iowa area and are looking for a divorce lawyer, contact me today at Rieper Law P.C. I’m committed to truly listening to your story and working toward the best outcome for all parties involved. Reach out today to schedule a consultation.