“ALL TOO OFTEN I HEAR THEY CHEATED ON ME.”
GEORGIA LAW & ADULTERY
Most people come to my office with dozens of texts, emails and recorded conversations anxious to show that their spouse is committing adultery. They have seen the shows in which a nervous spouse is forced to admit their infidelity on the stand as they face a scornful judge. They want their spouse to feel the pain that they have felt while living through their infidelity. Sadly, adultery is so common today that it is usually an element of most divorces and the courts usually have a deaf ear when one side rants and raves about the behavior of the adulterous spouse, and many times I have to convince them it is not worth the expense.
However, the judge does pay attention to these allegations when they affect the well being of children. I recently had a case in which the mother was completely convinced she would be given primary custody simply because she was the mother, I represented the father. At the end of the matter she lost custody of her children because of her adulterous relationship. Not necessarily because she was in an adulterous relationship but because she was exposing the children to this behavior. You see there is a fine line that the courts will consider regarding adultery and custody. If the relationship is merely infidelity between the adults and the children have not been exposed it usually will not carry too much weight when determining custody, but when the parent having the affair exposes the children to this behavior and has them staying at the third parties home, etc. then the court will consider this lifestyle choice.
Another issue in which the court will consider the adulterous acts of the spouse is when alimony is being requested. In Georgia alimony is not granted to an adulterous spouse. So if your spouse has cheated and then asked for alimony it is essential that this is not only proven but shown to be the cause of the divorce. On the other hand, Georgia allows for fault allegations in the equity system, which means that if you can show the former and you are the wronged spouse it could increase the amount of marital award.
In the end, if these elements apply then by all means aggressively attack the claim of adultery; however, if they do not and you seek revenge it is not worth the expense of private investigators nor the emotional chaos, it will not further your case.
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