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Getting Divorced from an Unfaithful Spouse

 Posted on November 01, 2018 in Divorce

Lombard divorce lawyersEven for those who have never experienced such a situation, it is almost impossible to imagine a deeper pain or sense of betrayal than that which comes from being cheated on by a spouse. While each couple may have their own definition of what constitutes cheating, an unfaithful spouse’s behavior can have a devastating impact on the marital relationship. In many situations, cheating is a symptom of much larger problems but is often the one that prompts the “cheated-on” spouse to finally take action to either fix the relationship or to end it permanently. If your spouse has been cheating and you are ready to file for divorce, there are some important things to keep in mind about your spouse’s behavior and how it might or might not impact the divorce process.

Marital Infidelity Is Not Grounds for Divorce

In 2016, Illinois lawmakers eliminated all of the fault-based grounds for divorce in the state. Since that time, a divorce can only be granted in Illinois on the no-fault grounds of irreconcilable differences. Cheating can certainly create irreconcilable differences but will not be recognized as the official reason for your divorce.

Spousal Support and Property Concerns

It may be reasonable to believe that when you have been cheated on by your spouse, you should be entitled to a larger portion of the marital estate or perhaps additional court-ordered maintenance to compensate for his or her actions. Illinois law, however, expressly prohibits a court from considering “marital misconduct”—including infidelity—when deciding on property division and spousal support matters. It is the responsibility of the court to address each spouse’s needs and to provide for the equitable distribution of marital property, not to place a value on an unfaithful spouse’s behavior.


A spouse who has cheated may be inclined to seek your forgiveness and, in some cases, may even be willing to offer financial or property considerations as a form of atonement. He or she may be hesitant to engage in a long, drawn-out divorce and may be more willing to compromise. A litigated divorce becomes a matter of public record, which could mean potential embarrassment for your spouse. While you should always avoid empty threats if you are not ready and willing to go to court, pressing for extra considerations in advance could potentially work in your favor.

Keep in mind, however, that a cheating spouse could go the other direction as well. He or she may be on the defensive, ready to dig in and fight for every inch during the divorce proceedings. Your attorney can help you analyze your unique situation and will work with you in determining the best way to proceed.

Get the Help You Need

If you are looking for guidance with your divorce from a cheating spouse, contact an experienced Lombard divorce attorney. Call 630-426-0196 to schedule a confidential consultation at A. Traub & Associates today. We are equipped to provide the representation you need during a difficult time.



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