Does adultery matter in divorce?

On Behalf of | Feb 24, 2023 | blog, divorce |

Filing for divorce is not something spouses take lightly. Ohio recognizes both no-fault and at-fault reasons for ending marriages. While spouses do not have to declare an at-fault reason when filing for divorce, they might benefit from this if their partner committed adultery.

Knowing how fault impacts divorce outcomes may encourage spouses to pursue this option.

Adultery is an acceptable reason to file for divorce

Ohio’s family laws recognize several at-fault reasons that spouses can file for divorce, including adultery. If spouses use adultery as the reason for the dissolution of their marriages, the state requires proof of these activities. The law does not have a specific definition of adultery, so spouses collecting information about an affair can consider anything they believe proves infidelity. The evidence can be copies of texts or emails, photos of the spouse in locations that suggest an affair or eyewitness testimony.

Adultery may affect the outcome of a divorce

While adultery is an acceptable reason to file for divorce, it only affects some court decisions. Judges do not weigh who committed adultery when settling asset disputes, assigning parenting time or awarding child custody. However, judges can assess any relevant factor, including adultery, when determining alimony awards. As a result, they may be less likely to award financial support to the spouse that had an affair.

Family laws allow people to file for divorce for many reasons. Knowing that proving adultery might have benefits for the faithful spouse should encourage those partners to file for an at-fault divorce.