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How Does Infidelity Affect a Gray Divorce? 

 Posted on November 16, 2022 in Divorce

DuPage County gray divorce lawyersSome marriages end because the spouses fall out of love or simply drift apart. Other marriages end due to marital misconduct. In our last blog, we discussed how to divorce an abusive spouse. This blog will discuss how cheating or infidelity can impact a gray divorce case in Illinois.

Divorce Grounds in Illinois

State laws change frequently. In 2016, Illinois became a no-fault divorce state. Prior to 2016, there were fault-based and no-fault grounds for divorce in Illinois. Fault-based grounds included issues like abandonment, cruelty, and infidelity. However, Illinois now only has one ground for divorce: irreconcilable differences. In a no-fault divorce, the court does not assign blame to either spouse. The court simply dissolves the marriage on the grounds that the differences between the spouses are irreconcilable and they cannot be reasonably expected to work things out. So, a cheating spouse does not affect the grounds for divorce. However, it may influence other aspects of divorce.

Infidelity and Property Division During Divorce

Some states consider marital misconduct when dividing marital assets during divorce. However, Illinois law specifically states that marital misconduct does not influence the court's decision when it comes to property division. A spouse is not more or less entitled to marital property because of an affair.

However, there is one situation in which an affair may influence property division during divorce in Illinois. If a spouse used or spent marital assets during an affair without the other spouse's knowledge, the wronged spouse may be able to file a "dissipation of assets" claim. For example, if a spouse had an affair and used joint credit cards to pay for hotels, plane tickets, and other expenses related to the affair, the wronged spouse could file a dissipation of assets claim to have those expenses deducted from the cheating spouse’s share of marital property.

Spousal Maintenance in a Gray Divorce

In some gray divorce cases, one spouse is ordered to pay spousal maintenance to the other spouse. The purpose of spousal maintenance is to help the financially disadvantaged spouse adjust to post-divorce life and become self-sufficient. Per Illinois law, an individual's spousal maintenance entitlement terminates if he or she gets remarried. Spousal maintenance also ends if the spouse moves in with a romantic partner. So, if a spouse moves in with the affair partner, this may eliminate his or her ability to receive spousal maintenance or alimony.

Contact our DuPage County Gray Divorce Lawyers

If you are getting divorced and have questions about how infidelity or another issue may impact your divorce case, contact our team of skilled Wheaton gray divorce attorneys. We can help you understand your legal rights and options so that you can make the best decisions for your future. Call Divorce Over 50 - Goostree Law Group at 630-634-5050 to schedule a free consultation. 



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