What Impact Does Infidelity Have on a Divorce?

Recently, there has been a great deal of news media coverage on stolen personal data from online users of AshleyMadison.com, a website created for those looking to have an extramarital affair. The hack released the names, bank information, addresses and other details of more than 37 million users of the site.

Unlike other hacks that make the news, the Ashley Madison security breach has been cited as causing a substantial amount of embarrassment and personal turmoil for those who had their information leaked. It also led to a national conversation about the impact infidelity can have on a marriage. It’s also important to note that adultery may affect the proceedings in a divorce case.

In Minnesota, adultery has limited effects on a divorce because the law in Minnesota only allows couples to seek an end to their marriage by filing for a “no-fault” divorce. Every divorce in Minnesota must state within the final decree that there is an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage relationship of the parties, meaning the court is not assigning blame for the breakdown of the marriage. One of the few situations adultery may have some effect on a divorce in Minnesota is if the allegedly adulterous spouse spent significant portions of the couple’s funds on gifts, trips or other expenses related to an affair. In that situation a judge may order that he or she pay an increased amount of the assets or take on an increased amount of the debts to compensate for those wasted assets.

If you and your spouse are considering a divorce, consult the trusted Minnesota family law attorneys at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

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