Infidelity is one of the leading causes of divorce. In most cases, when a spouse cheats the damage has been done and the relationship cannot be healed. Before you consider divorce, however, especially if there are children involved, I highly recommend that you make an attempt at marriage counseling. Marriage counseling may or may not work, but at least you made an attempt at preserving the relationship.
From a legal perspective, infidelity may have a big impact on a divorce. Primarily this comes into play when determining alimony. In North Carolina, alimony may be awarded when there is a dependent / supporting relationship. This basically means that one spouse is dependent on the other spouse’s income to maintain a certain standard of living. If there is a dependent / supporting relationship and the dependent spouse has cheated, the dependent spouse is barred from alimony. If, however, the supporting spouse has cheated, the dependent spouse is virtually guaranteed alimony.
Infidelity also comes into play if an injured spouse is considering a heart balm action. In North Carolina, heart balm actions are designed to protect the sanctity of marriage and the family unit. An injured spouse may bring a lawsuit against the third party that either alienated their relationship with their spouse, or had sexual relations with their spouse. In other words, if a spouse cheats, the injured spouse may sue the person who had sex with the spouse. There are several limitations to these types of suits, however, including the fact that the actions must have occurred before the separation.
If you believe your spouse has cheated on you and you are considering divorce or legal action, please contact Adkins Law to speak to a divorce attorney. Adkins Law is located in Huntersville and primarily serves Mecklenburg County and the Lake Norman area.