Does a spouse whos committed adultery become entitled to less alimony?

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Question:

How does adultery and alimony work? Will the person who committed adultery get less spouse alimony? If my wife cheated on me and thus resulted to our Divorce decision, will this help play in my favor in terms of the amount of spousal support / alimony I would be obligated to pay?

Answer:

In general, spousal support (alimony) is not an absolute right for either spouse.  If spousal support is granted by the court, the amount and duration of the agreement are specific to the facts of your case, and controlled by laws that vary from state to state.  In general, the factors affecting spousal support awards include but are not limited to the duration of the marriage and the length of the pre-divorce separation; the age of the parties at the time of the divorce; the relative income and future financial prospects of each spouse; and “fault” in the marital breakdown.

If you live in a state that applies the “fault” standard, it is possible that a court could reduce any support awarded to your wife if it finds that her infidelity was the cause of the  the irreconcilable breach of the marital relationship leading to the divorce.  A qualified divorce and/or family law attorney can advise you regarding the spousal support laws of your state and their application to the facts of your case. 

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