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The rise in infidelity leads to more gray divorces

The impact of infidelity can be deep and long-lasting. When you suspect that your spouse is cheating, the feelings of betrayal may affect many areas of your life. You may feel that your home, your privacy and your trust have been violated. You may doubt your self-worth.

Perhaps your unfaithful spouse didn't intend to hurt you this way, but you simply can't get past the lies and deception. If you have been married for many years, gone through hard times, raised children and built a life together, the betrayal may be especially painful. However, it is apparently becoming more common for older people to seek relationships outside of marriage.

Living in the past can damage the future

Since 2000, the number of unfaithful spouses over the age of 55 has steadily climbed. In a recent study, a shocking 20 percent of people in this age bracket admitted to having extramarital affairs, while among those younger than 55, only 14 percent said they were unfaithful. While researchers chalk this up to being children of the culture of the sexual revolution, such an excuse may bring you little comfort.

Whether your spouse's parents were swingers in the 1960s or your spouse had already had many partners prior to your marriage, you may have expected him or her to remain faithful to you. Nevertheless, according to the study, some people in their 50s and 60s may not even consider extramarital affairs to be adultery as much as polyamory, a term coined to define loving more than one person at a time.

Getting even or getting help

In Utah, claims of infidelity are not necessary for you to have grounds for a divorce. However, if your spouse was unfaithful, that may certainly impact many decisions made in the courtroom. The court may award, adjust or deny alimony on the basis of a spouse's infidelity, especially if your spouse spent marital assets on the affair. Additionally, your spouse's actions may cause the court to limit his or her custody, particularly if the affair exposed your children to inappropriate behavior.

When faced with marital infidelity, you may be tempted to lash out or get even with your spouse. However, seeking legal advice may be the better option. Working with a professional to gather evidence of infidelity and build a solid divorce case may allow you to move forward with more dignity. With the help of an aggressive and experienced advocate, you may be able to achieve a divorce settlement that is more satisfying than an emotional reaction.

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