When people get married, they hope it will last a lifetime. Unfortunately for some, this is not the case. Some studies show 40 to 50 percent of marriages will ultimately end in divorce
Dealing with the dissolution of a marriage can be hard, but adultery often makes it far worse.
In the state of South Carolina, adultery and divorce are treated differently than in other states. A claim of adultery can have adverse consequences when it comes to divorce settlements.
If you believe your spouse has committed adultery, continue reading to learn the four consequences of adultery.
1. Adultery Can Cut the Time it takes to Divorce in South Carolina
Adultery is considered to be “fault-based” grounds for divorce. When a spouse has proof of infidelity, South Carolina adultery laws allow for a quicker divorce. In some cases, the marriage can be dissolved in as little as 90-days.
This double speed timeline is beneficial to the spouse that has been cheated on because they can bypass legal separation requirements that apply to some no-fault divorce cases.
A fault-based adultery divorce is not as simple as making an accusation, however. There is a burden of proof that has to be satisfied. The petitioner has the burden of proving adultery took place, and the accused naturally may have an interest in showing that it did not.
2. Is Adultery a Crime?
Some people ask is adultery a crime. If you ever consider committing adultery, make sure you don’t live in a state where it is illegal. There are about 20 states where adultery can leave you with a criminal record if pursued.
South Carolina is one of them. Although the chances of being prosecuted are highly unlikely, you could spend up to six months in jail and pay a $500 fine.
3. Consequences of Adultery Affect the Right to Alimony
When most people think of cheating spouses, they immediately believe it was the husband. Conversely, in terms of alimony, the stereotype is of a woman who gave up her chance at a career to stay at home and raise the kids.
The truth is BOTH men and women cheat. Regardless of which way adultery and divorce play out, a person who commits adultery may not be entitled to receive alimony. Forfeiture of alimony is one of the many consequences of infidelity.
4. Division of Property can be Impacted
South Carolina adultery laws may be favorable to the spouse filing for divorce if adultery is at the heart of the break-up. In such cases, the judge has the discretion to assign less of the marital debt and a larger percentage of marital assets to the party harmed by the infidelity.
Are You Dealing with Adultery in Your Marriage?
Divorces are often the ultimate consequences of adultery. If your marriage is beyond reconciliation, you will need an attorney to help you navigate through the process.
Where children are involved, you will want a law firm that specializes in family law.
Click here to schedule a consultation.