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Posted on 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.

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DuPage County family law attorneysUnfaithfulness in a marriage is unfortunately common. In fact, surveys show that one or both spouses admit to cheating in one-third of marriages. Men admit to cheating at an average of 22 percent, while approximately 14 percent of women admit to cheating. As any couple who has dealt with infidelity knows, cheating can take a serious toll on a relationship or marriage. There is no surefire way to predict if a partner will cheat on their significant other, but new research has shed light on the reasons that some people cheat.

Researchers from Texas Tech University and the University of Nevada Reno studied the childhoods of adults that ended up cheating on their significant other. They defined cheating as “concealment of behaviors and the resulting emotional fallout” it causes. The researchers discovered that individuals who had parents who were unfaithful to each other were more likely to cheat on their partner as adults. According to the researchers, social learning theory accounts for this trend. Basically, children whose parents cheated on each other are more likely to cheat as adults. The research team found that people whose parents were unfaithful were more likely to accept the favorability of infidelity. This made them more likely to be unfaithful themselves in future relationships.

How Parents Talk to Kids About Cheating Matters

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financial infidelity, Illinois divorce attorneysHave you ever cheated on your spouse? Before you answer, keep in mind that cheating can mean much more than an episode of sexual indiscretion. In fact, there is another type of cheating that is far more prevalent in today’s marriages, and it has virtually nothing to do with adultery; it pertains, instead, to a couple’s finances. According to a recent survey, more than 40 percent of Americans have committed what is known as financial infidelity against their partner. With money already a commonly-cited contributor to the breakdown of marriages, financial infidelity, if not addressed and resolved, can quickly lead a couple down a path toward divorce.

What is Financial Infidelity?

Although it may take many forms, the basic idea of financial infidelity is relatively simple: one partner in a relationship with combined finances lies about or hides money and purchases. It could be an interest-bearing account set up in his name that she has no idea exists, or it could be a credit card that she has on the side. Whatever the case, if both partners are not fully disclosing financial concerns—within previously agreed-upon parameters—one or both may be committing financial infidelity.

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infidelity, ashley madison, Illinois divorce attorneysHeadlines around the world are ablaze with news of a data dump including the hacked information of some 37 million people. The accounts are associated with subscribers of Ashley Madison, a website that advertises itself as a forum to connect married users looking to have an affair. Email addresses found among the hacked data have been linked to TV personalities, politicians, and military personnel, along with countless private citizens. The exposition of Ashely Madison’s subscriber lists has forced many couples into unexpectedly dealing with allegations of infidelity, and probably have some already considering divorce. Before making any rash decisions, it is important to realize that your spouse may not be lying about his behavior.

Look But Don’t Touch

If you recently discovered that your spouse was registered on an infidelity-driven website, your first inclination was probably to feel completely betrayed. Such a reaction is completely understandable, but before taking action, you need to get the whole story. Of course, at this point, you will probably find it difficult to trust what your spouse is saying, but, if this is the first indication that something may be wrong, you should probably give him the opportunity.

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genetics, cheating, Lombard family law attorneyMaybe he swears it meant nothing to him. Maybe she promises it will never happen again. Whatever the situation, many couples will find themselves facing a situation in which one partner has been been unfaithful.  They will have to decide either to forgive the indiscretion and move on together, or to end the relationship. Obviously, for married couples ending the relationship typically means divorce, and infidelity continues to be among the most common reasons for ending a marriage. For those that decide to work out their relationship, questions inevitably remain about what caused the cheating partner to stray.

Part of the answer may lie in the human genetic code, as scientists continue to research links between genetics and human behavior. New studies are emerging on a regular basis relating the effect a specific gene or gene variant may have on the choices an individual makes. Several projects in the last few years have identified a number a genes, in fact, that may have a direct impact on a person&s self-control over inclinations toward thrill-seeking behavior, including infidelity.

One such study from Binghamton University, State University of New York, examined the impact of a variant of the dopamine receptor polymorphism, or DRD4, gene. Commonly associated with pleasure-seeking behaviors such as gambling and alcohol use, the DRD4 variation also demonstrated connection to uncommitted sexual activity, including one-night stands and infidelity. While the researchers did not claim the genetic variant necessarily caused such behavior, it was certainly more common in subjects with the variation.

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infidelity, cheating, unfaithful spouse, marriage, divorce, Illinois divorce lawyerCheating, even the word brings to the forefront the realization of broken promises and deep emotional pain for the afflicted spouse. According to a recent Fox News article, the instances of married couples who cheat is on the rise. Fox also points out that although communication is the leading contributor to couples contacting a divorce attorney, infidelity ranks number two on the break-up countdown. So how does the experts define infidelity and will your cheating spouse's transgressions affect your plans to initiate divorce proceedings?

Defining Infidelity

With the ever expanding internet and social media accessibility, defining the act of infidelity has become a bit clouded. The Infidelity Facts website reports that the opportunity presents itself in at least 47 percent of all marriages. With sexting in the picture accompanied by remote sex sites, there is difficulty calculating a valid divorce infidelity connection. For those cheaters engaging in the physical act, the definition becomes clearer.

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