Oct 5, 2022
Is the Cheating Spouse Barred from Alimony?
Recently I had a consultation with a couple who were seeking mediation to assist them with their divorce. The main reason for the divorce was an extra marital affair engaged in by one of the spouses. This spouse had been the stay-at-home parent to their child and did not have any income over the past year. They stated they had been told the spouse would be barred from alimony because of the marital misconduct and seemed surprised I would suggest otherwise.
Michael Routh, an Attorney at Alpha Center for Divorce Mediation, explores if marital misconduct, by itself, will justify a denial of alimony.
In Pennsylvania, the Court can take into consideration the marital misconduct of either party in determining the necessity and duration of alimony. However, there are sixteen additional factors outlined in the alimony statute with each person’s earning capacity and current sources of income carrying more weight. Marital misconduct, by itself, will not justify a denial of alimony.
Additionally, it is a common misconception, the “cheating spouse” has less rights in equitable distribution. In a no-fault divorce, this is not the case, as marital misconduct is not one of the factors in deciding how the assets and debts will be divided. In mediation, we will always attempt to create a fair division based on the economic circumstances of both parties.
The attorney mediators at the Alpha Center can help you with this process. Accepting guidance from a firm that specializes in the practice of divorce mediation will ensure a smooth path along the difficult road of divorce. Alpha’s program may not be fast and cheap, but it will certainly save you time and money over the long run. Let our expertise help ensure the best possible outcome for you, your spouse, and your family.
Alpha Center for Divorce Mediation