Despite Indiana County moving toward normalcy, the stay-at-home orders have created difficulties for some couples. For example, many married couples are struggling with quarantine requirements as the close quarters have made it easier for marital issues to boil over and trigger or reignite decisions to divorce. One issue couples are facing is infidelity.
As this article discusses, spouses discovered signs of infidelity while spending so much time together at home. They may have caught glimpses of a text message alert, noticed a drastic change in their partner’s attitude or schedule, or overheard a suspicious phone call. No matter how someone discovers infidelity, it could be the event that confirms a marriage is over.
Does infidelity affect divorce in Pennsylvania?
Infidelity can affect the divorce process in Pennsylvania in various ways. First, it influences the type of divorce you file. Instead of pursuing a no-fault divorce, a non-cheating spouse might blame the unfaithful partner in a fault-based divorce. This can be a more contentious process, as it requires parties to present evidence of infidelity.
Additionally, an affair can prevent that spouse from receiving alimony. In some cases, it could affect how the courts distribute property and award child support. However, parties should not assume that the unfaithful spouse will receive less property or lose custody. Courts make these decisions based on the details of the case and the well-being of the people involved, so there is not a one-size-fits-all solution for every case.
Even if you file a no-fault divorce, infidelity can still affect the legal process if it creates a power imbalance or involves particularly strong emotions like guilt, shame and betrayal. Under these circumstances, parties may not be capable of reaching satisfactory agreements outside of court.
Navigating the legal process after an affair
Adultery can have a wide-ranging impact on the divorce process and outcomes. Whether you, your spouse or both of you cheated during your marriage, you would be wise to discuss your case with a lawyer and learn how you might protect yourself and secure a fair settlement.
Discovering infidelity during an already tumultuous time can be devastating, and you may not know what to do next. Those in this upsetting situation should know that they are not alone, and there are resources in place to help you end a marriage and move forward.