Ashley Madison, a site designed to allow people looking to have an affair to connect with each other, was hacked in August, and members of the site became public. Unsurprisingly, this has caused some increases in interest in divorce. Although cheating may be a very good reason to file for divorce, people may be surprised to discover it might not have a very large effect on divorce proceedings.
This is because, like most other states, Virginia is a no-fault divorce state. While the individuals ending their marriage likely care deeply about the cause of a divorce, the law does not. Therefore, things like asset division, alimony and child support are not going to necessarily be decided in one person’s favor due to infidelity on the part of the other.
However, there are some cases where cheating may change the outcome of asset division. If someone is found to have spent money on the individual they were cheating with, those funds may be considered marital waste. In some cases, this may result in debts being completely the responsibility of the person who created them.
Although infidelity may have no direct effect on how things like property division or custody is handled during a divorce, there is a number of other factors that can. Whether someone gave up their career to take care of a family, what type of property a couple has and the ability to provide a stable environment for children are all important parts of the outcome of a divorce. A lawyer could explain to an individual how these issues are looked at by the law and help them seek an equitable outcome.