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Your Family Matters

How do people discover affairs, and how do they affect divorce?

On Behalf of | Jan 14, 2022 | Divorce

Few things will destroy a marital relationship more quickly or more thoroughly than adultery. When one spouse becomes physically intimate with someone from outside the marriage, the foundation of trust and fidelity that has held up the relationship may start to crumble.

Those suspecting infidelity often wait to take action until they are certain that their spouse has cheated. What are some of the more common ways that people uncover their spouse’s infidelity? Will an uncovered affair have an impact on New York divorce proceedings?

The proverbial lipstick on the collar

One of the more common ways that people get caught cheating is by returning to the marital home with some kind of physical evidence of their recent encounter on their bodies. Perhaps there is a smear of makeup on their clothing or remaining traces of lipstick on a man’s lips. Even unfamiliar cologne or perfume may confirm someone’s worst suspicions.

An unexplained second phone or a new lock on an existing one

When someone locks down their mobile phone when they previously didn’t care if you quickly accessed it to use their camera, they will usually have a reason for making that change. Shutting you out of a device or locking you out of accounts that you used to have access to could be an attempt to hide bad conduct. A secret second phone is often used solely for that purpose.

Missing funds or unexplained charges

Conducting an affair isn’t cheap, and spouses often notice the financial evidence. Unexplained or questionable charges on your credit card or frequent cash withdrawals from your bank account could be warning signs.

What will adultery mean if you divorce?

Most couples divorcing in New York will seek no-fault divorces. However, adultery is one of the fault-based grounds for the dissolution of your marriage. Those with evidence of adultery could pursue a fault-based divorce or trigger an infidelity clause in a marital agreement.

Generally, infidelity doesn’t have much of an impact on property division, support or custody decisions in New York divorces. However, a judge can consider infidelity and other spousal misconduct when dividing your property. If your spouse has spent marital assets on their affair, that could impact how the courts divide your property or the resulting debts.

Learning more about your rights if you do get divorced could help you if you have serious suspicions about your spouse’s adherence to their marital vows.