Divorce proceedings are always stressful and emotionally draining, however that pain is often significantly increased when a marriage ends due to infidelity, otherwise known as cheating. It’s this betrayal of trust that can often lead to rash decisions, harbored resentment, and many other consequences.
How does cheating affect your divorce? The first and most prominent place is in the award for alimony, known as “spousal maintenance” in Missouri. This is essentially a monthly payment from one spouse to another in order to help the other maintain their equal standard of living after the divorce is finalized. The court can also order temporary payments while the proceedings are going on in order to help one spouse make ends meet until a final resolution can be made.
Alimony can be impacted by infidelity, particularly if one spouse chooses to disclose it to the judge. Spousal maintenance, another name for alimony, can only be awarded when the receiving spouse lacks what’s necessary to cover their needs, either in income or possessions, and when they are unable to support themselves through employment.
If both of these statements are true, then the judge will consider the following factors for creating an alimony order:
- Financial resources of the receiving spouse, including property received from asset division
- Time necessary to acquire skills or training to obtain employment
- Comparative earning capacity
- Standard of living during the marriage
- Debts and assets
- Length of marriage
- Physical and emotional condition of the receiving spouse, including age
- The ability of the paying spouse to meet their own needs as well as those of the receiving spouse
- The conduct of spouses during the marriage
- Any other relevant factors
While the court cannot punish one spouse for infidelity in a marriage, it can be one of a several factors that will have an influence on an alimony award. Because of this, its influence on the alimony award will likely be small unless the affair also had a significant financial impact on the other spouse. Ultimately, the alimony award must be fair.
If you need assistance with your own divorce case, including those where infidelity was involved, contact the Kallen Law Firm today. Our team of distinguished St. Louis divorce attorneys have assisted numerous clients through complicated legal matters of family law. Our team strives to protect our clients and their best interests, while ensuring their families are looked after and secured for the future.Contact the Kallen Law Firm today at (314) 441-7793 to receive a free consultation and get the representation you need for your divorce!