Do I Have Grounds For Divorce If My Wife Is Having An Affair?

Question:Diana Bishara attorney New Jersey

I found out my wife is having an affair. She is asking for a temporary separation and wants to continue seeing this person.

She says she does not want a divorce, but I feel she is not really trying to salvage our marriage. I need advice as to whether I have grounds for a divorce for her affair and  how will it affect any property asset division and alimony.


While I am not licensed to practice law in your state, I can give some general guidance on this issue.  

With respect to a cause of action for your divorce, you may use adultery as the cause of action. However, this will not necessarily lessen your monetary obligations.

In general, in an action for divorce, the court shall, upon request of either party, equitably divide the marital property between the parties without regard to marital misconduct in such proportions and in such manner as the court deems just after considering all relevant factor which include but are not limited to:

·         The length of the marriage.

·         Any prior marriage of either party.

·         The age, health, station, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities and needs of each of the parties.

·         The contribution by one party to the education, training or increased earning power of the other party.

·         The opportunity of each party for future acquisitions of capital assets and income.

·         The sources of income of both parties, including, but not limited to, medical, retirement, insurance or other benefits.

·         The contribution or dissipation of each party in the acquisition, preservation, depreciation or appreciation of the marital property, including the contribution of a party as homemaker.

·         The value of the property set apart to each party.

·         The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage.

·         The economic circumstances of each party, including Federal, State and local tax ramifications, at the time the division of property is to become effective.

·         Whether the party will be serving as the custodian of any dependent minor children.

In addition, alimony is fundamentally based on one of the party’s reasonable financial need for it. Judges will contemplate several factors, not just adultery, when deciding the amount and availability of alimony. 

Remember I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case. 

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