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Rates of infidelity in the U.S. are hard to pinpoint – many respondents are not entirely upfront about whether or not they have committed adultery. That being said, most estimates set the rate of infidelity somewhere around 10 percent; 12 percent of men, and seven percent of married women say that they have had sex with someone outside of their marriage in a given year.

Adultery is illegal in the state of Illinois, although criminal penalties are rarely, if ever, enforced. However, for those who have committed adultery, or for the married partners of those that have, there is a pressing legal question that should be considered: how does infidelity affect divorce in Illinois?

Adultery Is Grounds for Divorce in Illinois

First and foremost, it should be noted that in the event that a party in a marriage is adulterous, grounds for divorce under Illinois code have been satisfied. To be sure, Illinois Compiled Statutes section 401 specifically states that the requirements for dissolution of marriage have been satisfied if “the respondent has committed adultery subsequent to the marriage.”

This means that even if the adulterous spouse does not want to get a divorce, the non-adulterous spouse has the right to seek divorce and that grounds for dissolution of the marriage have been proven.

Will Adultery Affect Property Division or Alimony?

The second most immediate question that those in a relationship where adultery has been committed often have is whether or not the adulterous act will affect things such as property division or alimony, as well as child support or child custody. Usually, the answer is no; the effect of infidelity on the issues listed above will be minimal, if present at all.

According to Illinois code regarding property division, “marital misconduct” cannot be considered, and property must be divided in “just proportions” regardless of infidelity. The same is also true for a spousal maintenance (alimony) award – marital misconduct cannot be considered.

As far as child support and child custody go, it is also unlikely that infidelity will be considered, especially in regards to the former. This is because child support is calculated based on the income of the parent who must pay child support, as well as the number of children for whom he or she must make a support payment on the behalf of. In regards to child custody, it is unlikely that adultery would have any effect on a child custody determination unless the adultery proved to cause the child psychological or physical harm, or proved the adulterous parent to be unfit to provide care to the child.

How a Divorce Attorney in Illinois Can Help

If you have committed adultery and are wondering how it may affect your divorce, or if you are seeking a divorce from an adulterous spouse, an experienced Illinois divorce attorney can help you. Serving Naperville, Wheaton, Downers Grove, Lombard, Lisle, and Aurora, the divorce attorneys at Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C. are ready to meet with you to discuss your divorce today. Call us for a free case consultation now at 630-961-0060.

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