Can adultery influence your divorce settlement in North Carolina?

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2024 | Family Law |

In North Carolina, the impact of adultery on divorce settlements can be significant. Defined as a spouse engaging in sexual relations with someone other than their partner, this extramarital relationship is also a form of marital misconduct.

Understanding how adultery can affect a divorce settlement is important for individuals navigating through these proceedings.

Grounds for divorce

North Carolina recognizes adultery as one of the grounds for divorce. When one spouse engages in this misconduct, it can serve as the basis for the other spouse to file for divorce. The act of adultery, once proven, can then lead to the dissolution of the marriage.

Impact on alimony

Adultery can also influence the court’s decision regarding alimony or spousal support. The court may bar a dependent spouse who committed the act from receiving alimony. Conversely, the supporting spouse’s adultery could increase alimony payments to the dependent spouse.

Division of property

In addition to considering alimony, adultery might influence the division of marital property. North Carolina follows equitable distribution laws, which means the court divides marital property fairly but not necessarily equally. Adultery could factor into determining fairness, possibly leading to the innocent spouse receiving a greater share of assets.

Child custody and support

While adultery generally does not directly impact child custody arrangements, it may indirectly influence the court’s decisions if the extramarital relationship affects the well-being of the children. Additionally, if an extramarital affair leads to financial strain or a decrease in the supporting spouse’s resources, it could impact child support obligations.

By staying informed and taking proactive steps, individuals can strive to achieve a fair and equitable settlement despite the challenges posed by adultery.