If you suspect that your spouse is having extramarital relations, it is understandable to want to divorce them. The state of Maryland does allow you to list adultery as a legal grounds for marriage dissolution, so you should enlist the help of a steadfast divorce attorney before entering litigation. If you are seeking to dissolve your marriage with an unfaithful spouse, call a Maryland adultery divorce lawyer today to learn more about how you can work to prove your spouse’s infidelity.
Divorce Petition for Adultery
Maryland couples who wish to dissolve their marriage must file a complaint for an absolute divorce or a limited divorce and list their grounds for seeking it. A spouse could plead adultery and allege that their partner was unfaithful, that they did not condone it or forgive it, and that they have not engaged in the same conduct.
Maryland is a fault-based state, and adultery is one of the legal grounds for divorce. However, judges do not typically give a lot of weight to adultery because it can be difficult to prove and often involves hearsay. Only adultery which is proven may impact divorce litigation. For example, a spouse who successfully establishes their partner’s adulterous behavior can file right away. Maryland courts are not concerned about adultery and do not want to get involved with placing blame on one party for infidelity. A seasoned Maryland adultery divorce attorney could help a claimant list their reasons for filing and advocate for their legitimacy.
To prove adultery, a person must present evidence in court either through testimony or with documents such as pictures. An estranged spouse must also prove that their partner had an inclination and opportunity to commit the adultery. For example, a witness could testify that they saw the alleged adulterer in a restaurant holding hands and kissing someone other than their spouse. Additionally, evidence could be gathered from text messages between the parties which mention the nature of their relationship.
Division of Assets
Maryland courts would consider adultery when awarding monetary awards and dividing marital property equitably. However, adultery on its own is not a deciding factor for how to divide shared assets. Fortunately, a knowledgeable adultery divorce lawyer in Maryland can help an estranged spouse examine their assets and determine a favorable outcome to pursue in court proceedings.
Adultery has have zero effects on child custody as long as there is nothing inappropriate taking place in front of minor children. In some situations, a court may order one party to keep their partner away from the kids for a certain period of time if they believe that is in the best interests of the children. This is especially likely if the children are in need of therapy or if there is any kind of stress on them.
Adultery can also affect custody if the partner is an alcoholic, doing drugs, has a criminal background, or has a history of safety concerns regarding the children. In that case, the courts may order a custody arrangement which includes keeping the children away from that person.
Mediation, Arbitration, and Litigation in an Adulterous Divorce
In any Maryland divorce on any grounds, the courts would order the parties to go to mediation and/or alternative dispute resolution. There would be many opportunities, including settlement conferences and pretrial conferences, for the parties to meet with their legal counsel to settle the issues of their marriage. Mediation is especially helpful in adulterous divorce because infidelity is a very emotional topic, and litigation is fueled by emotion. So, if the parties can use the tools the court provides them and which are available during litigation to try to settle some of their differences, the issue of adultery usually dissipates and the parties can move forward to settle their entire case.
Contact a Maryland Adultery Divorce Attorney Today
Whether you are certain or only suspect that your spouse has been unfaithful to you, you can list adultery as a legal grounds for divorce in the state of Maryland. If you need help preparing a testimony for your spouse’s infidelity, consult an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
A dedicated Maryland adultery divorce lawyer can help you build a case and work to end your marriage as smoothly and quickly as possible. Call today to schedule an initial consultation where you can learn more about your legal options.