Will my spouse get the lions share of everything if I committed adultery?
Whether you consider it good news or bad news, it’s pure myth that the “bad guy” will have to pay (literally!) for playing around. While this may have been true years ago when the laws were quite different, those days are long gone. You have probably heard the phrase “no-fault divorce.” Believe it or not, the law prohibits “punishing” the bad guy and “rewarding” the good guy, whether by changing the distribution of assets or debts, or by requiring that a certain amount of maintenance be paid simply based on “good” or “bad” behavior. However, there are several ways in which adultery can become an issue in your divorce case. Here are a few examples:
1. “My husband bought his girlfriend a $5,000 diamond tennis bracelet!”
2. “I just found out that my wife’s boyfriend has been in my house while I’m at work, and my children, who are only eight and nine years old, have seen them carrying on together in the bedroom!”
3. “When I learned that my spouse had several affairs during our marriage, I called my doctor to have a complete physical. My tests results show that I have a venereal disease, and I know it’s his fault, since I have always been faithful.”
Beverly A. Pekala practices family law in Chicago. She is the author of Don’t Settle for Less: A Woman’s Guide to Getting a Fair Divorce and Custody Settlement and has been voted a Leading Illinois Attorney by a statewide survey of colleagues.