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New York Divorce Law: The Ramification of Adultery

New York Divorce Law: The Ramification of Adultery

One of the most common reasons for married couples to separate or divorce is due to adultery.

However, New York's divorce laws have been "no-fault" since 2010. What this means is that a party no longer needs to prove fault to obtain a divorce.

Although adultery is legally feasible as a reason for desiring divorce, it is not a factor where it comes to custody or visitation rights with children or the division of property.

ADULTERY AND CHILD CUSTODY

The welfare of the child is the sole focus where any marriage is terminated, regardless of the reason. One cannot use adultery in New York state law as a reason to deprive their former spouse of custody or visitation rights.

However, adultery can come into play if the spouse's extramarital-partner was convicted of a felony or sexual offense. The same is true if the partner lives a lifestyle that would be considered contrary to the raising of healthy children.

In some cases, the spouse's partner can be ordered to not be present during visitation. This occurs when the judge determines that the presence of the companion will cause a situation among former spouses that places the psychological well-being of the children at risk, as discussed earlier.

ADULTERY AND PROPERTY

Adultery is generally irrelevant in divorce proceedings as far as the division of property is concerned. Rather, it is the length of the marriage and what property was acquired in that time. The "no-fault" divorce law will generally see property being divided in half.

However, property divisions can be altered in some cases, such as if it is determined that a spouse spent marital money on their companion.

WHEN IS ADULTERY CONSIDERED A CRIME IN NEW YORK?

Adultery can be charged as a crime, under Section 255.17 of the state’s penal laws. Accordingly, someone may be

“guilty of adultery when he engages in sexual intercourse with another person at a time when he has a living spouse, or the other person has a living spouse. Adultery is a class B misdemeanor.”

When someone faces this level of a crime, the punishment can mean a $500 fine and even up to 90 days spent in jail.

Although proving fault is not a necessity to file for divorce, adultery is still considered one of the seven grounds for divorce that you may file. Adultery might not necessarily affect alimony or spousal maintenance, it could potentially affect your child custody arrangement.

GET SKILL AND EXPERIENCE ON YOUR SIDE

Where it comes to divorce and family law, there are many complexities. That's why it's so important to have the right attorney on your side, one whose aggressive, proactive approach in the courtroom is well known. There is no substitute for an attorney with extensive experience in New York divorce law, as it ensures that all facets of your case are thoroughly addressed.

If your marriage is facing termination due to adultery, your case deserves the experience of an attorney who truly understands how adultery impacts divorce. Claim your free consultation by contacting me, Robert H. Montefusco, at (631) 801-0007 today.

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