How does adultery affect divorces in New Hampshire?

On Behalf of | Nov 2, 2020 | Divorce |

Adultery rocks the foundation of many marriages, yet some manage to survive – and grow stronger – from it. After learning that your spouse had been unfaithful to you, though, you might have decided that divorce was your only option. Their actions likely caused you significant pain, and you may wonder if they will impact the outcome of your divorce proceedings. In New Hampshire, they may.

The role of fault

New Hampshire follows a no-fault system for divorce. Under it, you have the option to file for divorce without citing any wrongdoing on you or your spouse’s part. Yet, the state also allows for fault-based divorces in certain circumstances. Among these is adultery.

When filing a fault-based divorce, you must provide evidence of the grounds you cite. Furthermore, you must prove that they were the reason your marriage broke down. It is possible your claim could end up defeated if it does not meet these thresholds.

Keep in mind that, in citing adultery as grounds for your divorce, your spouse’s affair partner must be named as a co-respondent.

The impact of adultery

If you can prove your spouse’s adultery caused the breakdown of your marriage, filing a fault-based divorce could affect your proceedings in several ways. For one, the court will consider your spouse’s actions when dividing your marital property. As a result, your spouse could end up with a share of it different than what they would have received otherwise. Furthermore, your spouse’s adultery could affect their alimony award, if they are eligible for it to begin with.

If you and your spouse have children, your spouse’s adultery is unlikely to affect the share of parental rights and responsibilities they will receive. The exception to this rule is if their behavior had a direct, negative impact on your children.

Filing a fault-based divorce on the grounds of adultery can be challenging. By seeking legal help, you can determine the strength of your claim and weigh your options for moving forward with it.