Does Cheating Impact a Divorce Settlement in Tennessee?
Franklin divorce attorney helps clients affected by adultery get what they deserve
Finding out that your spouse is cheating on you can be devastating. Some couples try to work through the crisis and save their marriage, but many call it quits after they learn that a spouse has been unfaithful. No matter how long you have been married, finding out that your partner is or was sexually involved with someone else can cause a deep sense of betrayal that you may never get over, and the end of your marriage can cause everything you knew about and planned for your life to shatter.
In Tennessee, the courts will consider adultery when granting a divorce, as well as when determining alimony. I am Judy A. Oxford, a Franklin divorce attorney, and I help clients understand their legal options when they have suffered from their spouse committing adultery. I work hard to obtain the maximum settlement the courts will grant for my clients. When working with clients who have committed adultery, I apply legal strategies to try to minimize their financial obligation so the infidelity does not negatively affect them.
How alimony is determined in Tennessee
Alimony law is designed to ensure that an economically disadvantaged spouse’s standard of living after the divorce will be reasonably comparable to the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage, or to the post-divorce standard of living expected to be available to the other spouse, considering the relevant statutory factors and the equities between the parties. Therefore, if one spouse made significantly more money than the other, such as a stay-at-home partner, then that spouse would likely have to pay alimony to ensure that the ex maintained the same or similar quality of life, or a similar quality of life experienced by that spouse after the divorce is granted.
The law states that fault can be considered when determining alimony, but “it must not be applied in a punitive manner against a guilty party.” That means that alimony can’t be increased just because someone committed adultery. However, say that the spouse who is better off financially commits adultery, the courts would consider that action to be responsible for shattering the marriage and undermining the other spouse’s financial situation and could award more alimony as a result. In contrast, if the spouse who is not as well off financially commits the adultery, the courts may lower the alimony amount since that person’s actions were likely the reason the marriage failed.
There is a great deal of discretion in the awarding of alimony, which is why it is so essential that people work with an experienced Franklin divorce attorney. I make a case that analyzes aspects of the marriage to get the best settlement or best resolution for my clients. That includes financial analysis as well as a comprehensive overview of the circumstances of the marriage and the split.
What do the courts define as adultery?
A strict definition of adultery is not provided in Tennessee law. Generally, it is considered to be any sexual relations with a person other than one’s spouse. It is generally proven through circumstantial evidence, and such evidence may include sexy texts, seeing the spouse’s car in the driveway of the third-party overnight, and the like. It can also be proven by the admission of the spouse who committed adultery.
What is essential in cases that claim adultery is to have evidence. You can’t just rely on your suspicions or even something that someone told you. It will be important to have documentation such as video or audio recordings, photographs, text messages, emails, and so on. What kind of evidence is needed will depend on the circumstances of the case. Once adultery is proven, the courts would then look at how much money was spent on the affair, such as for hotel rooms, gifts, loans, and so on.
I work with clients to gather the evidence needed to prove the adultery and the financial impact it had on the marriage. I then create the strongest possible case using all that evidence to get the best settlement or best resolution I can for my clients.
Call the Franklin divorce attorney dedicated to getting results
Adultery can be devastating to a marriage. Don’t let it devastate your future as well. Call me, Judy A. Oxford, an experienced Franklin divorce attorney, to fight for the best divorce settlement or other resolution possible. Call my office at (615) 791-8511 or use the secure online form to schedule a free consultation. I’ll help you understand your legal options and then start building a strong case for you.