New York state now has no fault divorce, so cheating is not as important as it was some years ago. It’s never a good thing, but, if it is legally relevant or not depends on many factors. In most cases, the court doesn’t want to hear about infidelity anymore unless for some reason it has something to do with the children. For example, if the person your spouse is cheating with has a criminal record or some kind of substance abuse problem and that problem is now a part of the children’s life. Other than that, it is very rare that adultery would be pleaded today in a divorce. This is because New York now has irretrievable breakdown, which is no fault ground, so adultery is not as frequently used as it was before. All our dirty laundry that used to be paraded before the court is something that really doesn’t happen today as much. To say that cheating does or doesn’t have any affect on a divorce is not something that you can answer specifically with a yes or no. You’d have to see whether or not the impact of that cheating has relevance to the children or financial relevance, for example if the spouse was spending a lot of money on that person. It may come back in different ways, but not necessarily as a ground for divorce.
Robert Pollack is an experienced divorce and family law attorney in Long Island, New York. Contact The Pollack Law Firm, P.C., to set up a free initial consultation.