Couples divorce for many reasons, but infidelity is one cause of divorce from which few couples can recover. That act of betrayal does not only affect the couple but the children as well. Even though grounds for divorce are not necessary here in Utah, the fact that one spouse was unfaithful could affect certain issues in the divorce such as parenting time, alimony and custody.
Proving grounds for divorce can be time-consuming and expensive, which is why simply saying that the couple has irreconcilable differences is the most often cited reason for divorce. However, Utah law does allow for certain concessions if it is proved that one spouse cheated on the other. For example, if the unfaithful spouse spent marital funds on the affair (i.e. for hotel rooms, gifts or other related expenditures), the court has some discretion when it comes to awarding alimony to the other spouse.
If you suspect that your spouse was unfaithful, let your attorney know. He or she can utilize any sources needed such as forensic accountants, computer specialists and private investigators to gather evidence of the affair. If the evidence establishes infidelity, the court might consider that fact when awarding alimony. It could also affect who is given primary custody of the children and visitation time depending on the circumstances.
The courts do have statutory guidelines to follow regarding most divorce matters, but they also have some discretion when making awards since each family’s circumstances are unique. Ultimately, the goal is to achieve a fair and equitable divorce settlement. If one party used marital assets and funds to conduct an extramarital relationship, the other party might be eligible for some form of compensation.