Divorce After An Affair
I frequently meet with new clients shortly after they or their spouses have revealed or discovered an affair. This is always a painful situation for everyone involved. Emotions run high. Anger, hurt, and grief are commonly felt on the one hand. Guilt, shame, anger, and relief on the other. People are unmoored from the presumptions of their lives and wondering what to do. Divorce after an affair is a choice.
It is no question that addressing the feelings surrounding an affair is important. Failing or refusing to address this circumstance’s complex emotions can have psychological and health implications. Furthermore, it is often very upsetting for people to learn that in Westchester divorce, as in the rest of New York State, the fact of an affair, alone, gives the aggrieved spouse the right to get divorced . . . but not much another recompense. Looking to the law to find a way to manage the feelings that arise after an affair is frustrating and often destructive.
Divorce After An Affair Outside of New York
Some other states deal differently with adultery. In some states, a spouse who has been cheated on can be relieved of the obligation of spousal support regardless of other factors. In almost all US jurisdictions, including New York divorce, if a spouse uses marital assets to support an extra-marital relationship, those monies are often refunded to the other.
I have noticed that the people who deal most successfully with this situation can separate their actions from their emotions. In other words, they can act in their own interests rather than react to the revealed affair. People who can think about where they want to go and what this event means to them before they do anything are best able to survive the impact financially and emotionally and help their children through a resulting separation or divorce. Some of the things that people do to manage the impact of the affair successfully are:
- Carefully consider whether the marriage can or should survive.
- Thoughtfully consider their finances, including their children’s education, housing situation, and retirement funds.
- Protect their children from the details of their parents’ intimate lives.
For some people, fidelity is the bottom line in a marriage. The fact of an affair means it’s over, and there are no other considerations. Other people may feel that infidelity is information that something is not working well in a marital relationship and want to work on further identifying and exploring the problem. There is no right answer. This is a confusing time for all involved, and getting help sorting out the swirling emotions is crucial.
If your partner has an affair and you’re lost, contact us to review your options.