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Will Cheating Affect My Divorce Case?

Military Law Group
Man texting another women while his wife sleeps

Handling the divorce process in Oklahoma can be quite a journey, especially if you're dealing with a fault-based situation. It can seem a lot to juggle, and when things start to get complicated, it can feel pretty overwhelming. Fortunately, knowing your rights can relieve lingering stress. 

That's why our team is here to assist you. At Military Law Group, our attorneys, Scott B. Goode, Kurt K. Townsend, and Chelsea Mabrey, are by your side. We're all about helping you through these tough times. Our goal is to focus on your best interests and guide you along the right path during this challenging journey. We're here to support you every step of the way. 

Oklahoma Divorce Grounds 

In Oklahoma, the term "hybrid fault system" refers to the fact that you have the option to file for either a no-fault divorce or a fault-based divorce. A no-fault divorce is one where neither party is officially blamed for the breakdown of the marriage. You can file for a no-fault divorce based on incompatibility, which essentially means that you and your spouse cannot get along well enough to continue the marriage. 

On the other hand, a fault-based divorce is when one spouse's misconduct led to the failure of the marriage. Adultery is one such ground for a fault-based divorce. If your spouse has been unfaithful, you have the option to bring this up during the divorce proceedings. 

Adultery as a Ground for Divorce 

In Oklahoma, adultery is not just a ground for divorce—it's considered a felony. Although it's rarely enforced, the law still stands. This means that if your spouse has been unfaithful, they've technically committed a crime. However, it's important to clarify that this criminal aspect doesn't necessarily translate into an automatic advantage in your divorce case. 

While adultery can be presented as evidence in the divorce proceedings, it's not a mandatory consideration. The court will not automatically take it into account unless it's brought up by one of the parties involved. This means that if you or your spouse choose to raise allegations of adultery, it then becomes a factor that could potentially influence various aspects of the divorce proceedings. 

For instance, it could impact decisions regarding alimony, child custody, or the division of assets. However, the extent to which it affects these decisions can vary greatly depending on the specific circumstances of your case. 

In conclusion, while adultery can indeed play a role in divorce proceedings in Oklahoma, its impact is not straightforward. It's crucial to have experienced legal guidance to navigate these complex matters. At Military Law Group, we're here to provide that guidance and support you throughout this challenging process. 

Ways That Adultery Might Factor In 

Adultery can influence several significant areas in a divorce case. These include: 

  • Spousal Support: In Oklahoma, when deciding whether to award spousal support and the amount and duration of the support, adulterous behavior might be considered. While it can be challenging to prove a direct link between an affair and the need for alimony, the court does take into account the conduct of both parties during the marriage. 

  • Dividing Assets: Asset division follows the equitable distribution model in Oklahoma, with the goal being a fair division of property. If the adulterous behavior led to the dissipation of marital assets or caused financial harm to the innocent spouse, the court might factor this in when dividing assets. 

  • Child Custody/Support: For child custody and support, the court's primary focus is always on the best interests of the child. While adultery generally does not directly impact these determinations, if it negatively affects the parent's ability to provide a stable and nurturing environment for the child, it may be taken into consideration by the court. 

Living With Someone Else While Divorce Is Pending

If you or your spouse begins cohabitating with someone else while your divorce is pending, it may potentially affect the outcome of your divorce case. Courts in Oklahoma may interpret cohabitation as evidence of an adulterous relationship, which could impact property division or spousal support, depending on the circumstances and the court's discretion. 

The Possible Outcome 

Every divorce case is unique, with its own set of circumstances. However, it's crucial to understand that in Oklahoma, adultery and cohabitation can indeed play a role in the outcome of your divorce case. We strongly recommend consulting with an experienced family law attorney to understand how adultery may affect your specific case. 

Rely on Us to Take Over

As members of Military Law Group, located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, we serve clients throughout the Tulsa metro area, including Rogers County, Creek County, and the Creek and Cherokee Nations. We can provide you with compassionate and professional legal assistance during this challenging time. Reach out today to schedule a consultation.