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Does Proof of Infidelity make a difference in no Fault States?

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Does proof of infidelity really make a difference in “no fault” states?

This is a common question posed by people who consider hiring a private investigator during a divorce battle over such things as child custody, child support, marital assets, and alimony.

“No-fault divorce” is defined as, “A kind of divorce in which the parties need not cast blame on one another for the failure of the marriage.”[1]  The short answer to the question is no, it won’t make a difference in the dissolution of marriage and division of assets if one party is proved to have committed adultery.

However, the deeper issue is of considerable importance. The first question is, “Are there children involved?” If the answer is yes, then I assert that infidelity can impact court decisions when it comes to deciding residential custody, visitation, and even visitation duration. There is still a moral code in this country that is often overlooked by society as a whole. Conversely, the courts will often take proven infidelity into consideration when it comes to custody decisions, because infidelity can be viewed as a detriment to a child’s moral welfare. Several states have laws written as it pertains to child abuse, dictating that a child’s moral welfare cannot be put into jeopardy, just as their mental, emotional, and physical welfare are protected.

This is not to say that adulterers are child abusers; however, it is to say that proof of infidelity can influence the court’s ultimate decision to protect the children and place them in the most stable, morally healthy, and physically safe environment possible. If  presented by legal counsel that knows the intricacies of child custody rulings and the adultery and child welfare laws of their jurisdictions, proven infidelity captured legally by a private investigator can have substantial influence on a judge’s ruling over your children’s welfare.

There are many cases where the proof of infidelity has caused the court to order that the other custodial parent is not allowed to have ANY person of the opposite sex around while they have the children, or prohibiting any overnight stays with lovers on specific days (usually days when they have the children).

Is Infidelity a crime?

Another issue with respect to infidelity in “no-fault” states is the state laws themselves. Many states still have adultery on the books as a criminal offense! Some may list it as a petty offense, but nevertheless it is another piece of evidence that can empower the victims of infidelity.

Can the police actually arrest an adulterer? An arrest is unlikely unless he/she is caught in the act of an exchange of money for sex (prostitution). On the other hand, if infidelity is a criminal act or petty offense in your state, and you can prove it with a private investigator, then it can be presented as a potential bargaining chip to avoid a nasty divorce.

What can you do if you think your mate is being unfaithful?

Remember, knowledge is power. If you suspect infidelity, don’t worry about how it will affect a divorce if you live in a no-fault state. You only need to know that infidelity, although surprisingly common, is still greatly frowned upon both in and out of court. Hiring a private investigator for an infidelity investigation will not only give you peace of mind, but also will let you put the past behind you.

[1] Merriam-Webster dictionary online; m-w.com

Article written by:

James Stevenson, PI
Senior Case Analyst
International Counterintelligence Services, Inc.
May 2007


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