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Why bring up a spouse’s extramarital affairs in a no-fault divorce?

by | Apr 23, 2021 | Divorce

Virginia, like most other states, has a “no-fault” divorce option. That means that a couple can seek a divorce just because they have been living apart for at least one year if they have children who are under the age of eighteen. If there are no children or they are all already over eighteen, only a 6 month separation is required.

So, why bother bringing up a spouse’s extramarital affairs in court? What purpose could that possibly serve? As it turns out: Plenty.

A celebrity’s bitter split illustrates how an affair can still affect the outcome of a divorce

This issue recently came up in the ongoing divorce battle between the famous rapper and producer Dr. Dre and his wife. The wife recently won the right to depose three of her spouse’s alleged mistresses over their objections.

Why did the court allow it? Because their testimony could shed light on two major issues in the celebrity’s divorce:

  • The division of the marital assets. Dre’s wife believes that her spouse lavished gifts and money on the women in question during their marriage. If true, that could be considered “marital waste” that unfairly depleted their joint assets which might be subject to division in the divorce.
  • The validity of the prenuptial agreement. It’s suspected or believed that the women may have knowledge about the circumstances surrounding the prenuptial agreement that Dre’s wife signed. She alleges that it’s unenforceable because she was bullied into signing the agreement on their wedding day.

If the wife’s allegations are proven correct, these facts could significantly increase the financial settlement she receives in the divorce.

In a no-holds-barred divorce where there is a lot of money at stake, things that might not matter in another divorce can become very important, indeed.

Are you facing a difficult divorce?

When you have substantial wealth, you have to decide carefully how you wish to proceed with a divorce. Sometimes it makes more sense to try to come to an agreement with your spouse about the split — and sometimes it’s better to litigate. Either way, you want to work closely with your divorce attorney on a comprehensive approach to the situation that takes fault into consideration.