Finding out your spouse had an affair can be devastating. You will feel angry, betrayed, sad and even revengeful. All of these emotions are completely normal, but it is important to not let your spitefulness get the best of you in divorce because it can end up costing you everything.
New York is a no-fault state when it comes to matrimonial law, which means couples do not have to provide a reason for their divorce. Prior to 2010, New Yorkers would have to check off an item on a ground for divorce list, such as abandonment, imprisonment, cruel and inhumane treatment, and yes, even adultery. While courts may have been sympathetic to a betrayed spouse in the past, they do not necessarily take the fact that someone was cheated on into account anymore.
Spousal support, also known as alimony or maintenance, is determined using a variety of factors including the length of the marriage, each spouse's present and future earning capacity, as well as each person's age and health, etc. Whether or not one party committed adultery is not taken into consideration while determining the amount of spousal support to be paid. However, a court may award a higher amount of money be paid in alimony if one spouse's abuse of the other has greatly or permanently effected the victim's earning potential.
As stated previously, the betrayed spouse may feel revengeful throughout the divorce process. This is an ordinary human reaction, but constantly fighting your spouse during every step of the divorce in an attempt to hurt them or ruin them financially can actually be incredibly damaging to your emotional well-being and bank account. Divorce is not the time to be frivolous and spiteful, especially because you and your ex-spouse will be communicating through your attorneys and court document filings. All of the little expenses add up fast during divorce, and before you know it, you will have burned through your retainer while continuing to incur charges. Additionally, the stress of a messy divorce can cause sleepless nights, anxiety, and even cause damage to the other relationships in your life. You must remind yourself that arguing with your ex and trying to harm them is not worth your sanity, happiness, and relationships with friends and family.
Instead of focusing on destroying your spouse, put yourself first by working with your attorney to get a fair and equitable divorce settlement. Not every lawyer is determined to drive up legal fees that result in a larger payday, rather, they want to advocate on their client's behalf and get the best settlement possible for each particular situation. By discussing what is in your best interest with your attorney, he or she will be better equipped to negotiate a settlement with the opposing counsel.
Being the victim of an adulterous spouse is not the windfall that many people believe it to be. You will not be awarded a large cash settlement, the marital property or custody. No properly educated or experienced matrimonial and family law attorney should tell you otherwise. Retaining a lawyer you can trust is the key to "winning" a divorce. The staff at Brian D. Perskin & Associates has over 40 years of experience advocating on their client's behalf, making sure they receive the best settlement possible in regards to their individual case. If you are contemplating divorce, or are ready to file, call (718) 875-7584 or (646) 759-9392 to schedule your free consultation.