Georgia defines the act of adultery as a married individual having sex with someone other than their spouse. The act of adultery is one of the 12 at-fault grounds for divorce recognized by divorce courts in the state. A finding of adultery by one party to a divorce can have an impact on divorce proceedings. This finding will have its most profound effect on alimony and the division of property.
A spouse is not eligible for alimony when the evidence presented in divorce court demonstrates their adultery is the cause of the divorce. It is important to note that infidelity must be the proven cause and reason for the divorce.
No alimony prohibition is applicable with the filing of a no-fault divorce leading to a finding that adultery played a role in the marriage dissolution. The same holds for a situation where one spouse forgave the other for cheating, but the couple decides on divorce later.
A spouse guilty of adultery maintains rights to a share of the property the couple accumulated while married. However, the amount of property awarded to the spouse may decrease with evidence of adultery.
Georgia divorce courts help to facilitate the equitable division of property. The court will distribute property fairly based on the economic condition of both spouses. The court also considers the circumstances surrounding the marriage and divorce.
Fair distribution of property often resembles a 50/50 split of marital assets. But poor conduct by one spouse may lead the court to increase the percentage of property given to the spouse hurt by the other’s action. Adultery represents one type of bad conduct that can alter property distribution.
The divorce process can become much more complicated than calling it quits. Divorcees will need to take action to ensure their financial interests are protected, and they are in a position to rebuild their lives after a divorce is final. A divorce lawyer may be able to help with these goals.