Is Adultery Relevant In Illinois Divorces?

Posted by Erin Birt | Dec 18, 2014 | 0 Comments

Illinois couples dealing with adultery should know that it is not used in an Illinois divorce court except in very specific circumstances. In other words, it's often not relevant unless there are children involved or funds are being used to support the affair. This post will focus on Is Adultery Relevant In Illinois Divorces.

In the video below, I discuss when Adultery is relevant in Illinois Divorce:

Is Adultery Relevant In Illinois Divorce: THE LEGAL SPECIFICS

Because Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, adultery does not factor into the court's decisions unless:

  • It creates a serious child custody issue or
  • The affair depleted marital assets in some way.

Most often, however, the court follows the Illinois no-fault divorce law and makes its determinations for division and maintenance of marital property without regard to marital misconduct. For child custody issues, Illinois law suggests that “the court shall not consider the conduct of a present or proposed custodian that does not affect his relationship with the child.”

The only part of Illinois divorce law that considers fault is for a claim of dissipation (or depletion) of marital property which occurs when one spouse uses marital property or funds for something unrelated to the marriage while it was experiencing an unresolvable collapse.

In this case, the party charged with dissipation must prove that the property or funds were spent for a marital purpose. However, there are other factors that can prevent reimbursement so it's worth reviewing this with an experienced divorce attorney.

Is Adultery Relevant In Illinois Divorces: ADULTERY AND COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE

Using a collaborative divorce in cases of adultery can be tricky, but not impossible. For collaboration to work, both parties must agree to the terms of the dissolution of marriage before the divorce case can be filed with the court.

If the wronged party can overcome the emotional issues that come with adultery, collaboration is a way to create workable solutions around child custody issues and spousal maintenance payments. A skilled collaborative divorce lawyer can be of great help in these situations.

If you have specific questions about filing for divorce on the grounds of adultery, contact me for more information on your options, including collaborative divorce, and to discuss Is Adultery Relevant In Your Illinois Divorce.

About the Author

Erin Birt

Since 2003, Erin N. Birt, J.D., CADC has focused her practice on parenting time, divorce, mediation, and substance abuse issues. Ms. Birt's unique background in both family law and addictions counseling help her clients successfully navigate the complex issues of coparenting and divorce. Ms. Birt also devotes her time to presenting at continuing education seminars for attorneys, mediators, and counselors.


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