ADULTERY & FILING FOR DIVORCE IN MARYLAND
Divorce Lawyer in Maryland Discusses Adultery and Filing for Divorce
Infidelity can ruin a marriage, leaving one partner feeling betrayed and insecure. When adultery is a cause for divorce, the injured party will likely desire some sort of return for the emotional damages caused by their partner. Make sure to contact a divorce lawyer in Maryland if you are considering divorce because of adultery.
Divorce in Maryland
Maryland is a state which requires sufficient “cause” for divorce. This means that the individual filing for divorce, often referred to as the plaintiff, must have a specific reason to request a divorce. Sufficient causes include but are not limited to:
- Mutual separation for 12 or more consecutive months
- Felony conviction
- Cruelty towards a spouse or minor child
- Excessively vicious conduct
With the exception of mutual separation, all other “causes” listed are considered “fault-based.” This means that one spouse committed marital misconduct against the other. Infidelity is “fault-based” wrongdoing and is defined by a married person having sexual relations with another individual outside the marriage.
There are also two forms of divorce in Maryland – complete or partial. Partial divorce is similar to legal separation. It can be a complicated procedure so make sure to contact a divorce lawyer in Maryland.
To be granted a divorce on the grounds of adultery, proof must be established. Before confronting the spouse, it is best to speak with a divorce lawyer in Maryland and to begin collecting evidence before the unfaithful spouse becomes aware of your intentions. If a cheating spouse knows you intend to request a divorce based on their infidelity, he or she may destroy evidence, making it more difficult for you to prove your case. When divorce cannot be granted on a fault basis, there is a requirement for 12 consecutive months of separation. The following may be useful resources in collecting evidence of infidelity:
- Computers, such as email
- Cell phone, such as texts
- Receipts for travel records
- Witness testimony
As technology and privacy law advances, it is important to speak to a divorce lawyer in Maryland regarding what is legal evidence to obtain.
Alimony is the money one spouse pays the other after a divorce in order for both parties to maintain as close to the standard of living as they enjoyed during the marriage. This prevents any party from becoming excessively impoverished due to the divorce. There are several types of alimony in Maryland:
- Alimony pedente lite: This is a temporary alimony awarded by the courts during the divorce proceedings. This is meant to assist the supported spouse in making ends meet while the divorce is still pending.
- Indefinite alimony: This type of alimony is awarded to the supported spouse after a long-term marriage when the supported spouse is not likely to become self-supported. This alimony does not have a specific end date and may never expire.
- Rehabilitative alimony: This alimony is temporary that is given to the supported spouse for a limited time. This arrangement is meant to give the supported spouse some assistance while he or she completes the necessary training or education required to become fully employed and self-supporting.
Adultery and Alimony
Is it possible to receive more alimony if it can be proven that your spouse was unfaithful? Is it possible to prevent an unfaithful spouse from receiving alimony?
If an individual is granted a divorce on the fault-based grounds that their partner committed adultery during the marriage, it is not necessarily true that he or she will not receive alimony, or will receive less alimony, from the plaintiff. In the state of Maryland, the court is asked to consider the circumstances leading to estrangement when considering alimony.
A divorce granted on grounds of infidelity is more certainly relevant to the alimony if the adulterous behavior somehow affected the finances of the supported spouse. For example, if a spouse spent the couple’s collective savings on gifts or expenses for his or her affair, this could be seen as behavior affecting the supported spouse’s finances.
Generally, Maryland courts are required to disregard infidelity when considering the amount, duration, and type of alimony, or whether there will be any alimony paid at all. Judges take into account the following factors in an attempt to award fair and equitable financial statuses:
- The ability of the spouse seeking alimony to be self-supporting
- The time the spouse seeking alimony will require to gain sufficient education or training to enable that spouse to become self-supporting (rehabilitative alimony)
- The standard of living established during the marriage
- The duration of the marriage
- The contributions, financial and otherwise, each spouse gave to the marriage
- The age of each spouse
- The physical and mental condition of each spouse
- The ability of the paying spouse to meet his or her own needs while also meeting the needs of the spouse seeking alimony
- Any agreement that was made between the spouses, such as a prenuptial agreement
- The financial needs and resources of each spouse
It is very important to seek an experienced divorce lawyer in Maryland to ensure you are protected during divorce proceedings. Divorce is a very emotional and complicated process. Having a knowledgeable lawyer on your side can help you get through the process more smoothly than you could hope to on your own.
Consult Legal Advice from a Divorce Lawyer in Maryland for Adultery Cases
Divorce can be a very emotional and disappointing time in your life. But it is also an opportunity to evolve and start new. The Burton Firm has the tools and commitment to ensure you get through this process and move forward with your life. Give us a call to speak to a divorce lawyer in Maryland.