Going through a divorce in Pennsylvania can be one of the most stressful, challenging things you ever have to do. It’s even more frustrating and emotional when an element of the divorce is adultery. When a spouse cheats on their partner, it can create a huge number of challenges both emotional and during the divorce.

An estimated 30 to 60 percent of married people will commit some form of adultery, and two out of three marriages end because of this one thing. That’s why understanding what kind of impact adultery will have on a Pennsylvania divorce is so important.

Unlike some other states, Pennsylvania will allow spouses to seek fault based divorces. This means that the actions of a spouse and their misconduct can be found to directly relate to the divorce and its overall outcome. This can directly impact financial aspects of the divorce, for example:

  • The spouse who was unfaithful may have their ability to receive alimony removed as a result of their adultery.
  • A spouse could receive a smaller part of assets during equitable distribution due to their actions.

Those are just a couple of examples. It usually won’t influence things like child custody or child support, however, and that’s important to keep in mind. The specifics of your divorce and what is being considered will likely be influenced to some degree by adultery, and as such it’s important that you discuss this part of the divorce with your attorney no matter how difficult it may be.

However, it’s important to understand that adultery has to be substantially proven in order for it to impact a divorce in this way. A court won’t modify asset distribution just because you think that there was a chance your partner cheated on you last month, for example.

Instead, you have to provide dates, names, places, and anything else you can regarding the divorce. Photos, phone records, and other similar pieces of evidence can be used to prove the affair. And you also must prove that the affair is what actively caused the divorce.

A divorce is a very difficult thing to deal with, especially when an affair was involved. The emotions can make it harder to deal with the specifics of the divorce reasonably, and getting a competent attorney to help represent you during a divorce. They can help guide you through the process with as much dignity as possible and help you gain a better understanding of your options.