High Net Worth Divorces and Adultery in North Carolina

Adultery affects more than just your emotional well-being. During a North Carolina high net worth divorce, adultery can also have a significant impact on your finances. While most spouses never plan for adultery to happen, they should take steps to understand how this act can impact their divorce - especially if they are dealing with multiple high-value assets. Learning the potential effects of adultery on high net worth divorces can provide you with the knowledge and resources to pursue a positive legal outcome.

Of course, your first step should always be to consult with an experienced, qualified divorce attorney in Union County. These legal experts can help you protect your assets in Monroe, even if adultery threatens your financial well-being. Choose an attorney who is specifically experienced with high net worth divorces, and you will stand a much better chance of walking away with minimal losses. While they are never ideal, affairs do happen. No one is perfect, and a professional divorce attorney will never judge you for what has happened during your marriage. Their main priority is helping you get through this in the best possible manner.

Can I File for Divorce After My Spouse Commits Adultery?

Many spouses in North Carolina wonder if their ex’s infidelity allows them to legally file for divorce. The short answer is yes, you can file for divorce after your spouse commits adultery.

However, adultery does not really have any bearing on your ability to file for divorce. It is not “grounds” for divorce, and courts in Union County will not care about the specific reason you decided to separate from your spouse when assessing your ability to file for divorce. The only real requirement is to be separated for 12 months before moving forward with the divorce process. Aside from filing for divorce on the grounds of incurable insanity, this is the only way you can get divorced in North Carolina.

Alimony and Adultery in North Carolina

In the context of a divorce, adultery probably has the biggest impact on alimony. When deciding how much alimony to award (or whether it should be awarded at all), the Union County Divorce Court looks at a number of factors. While all of these factors are important to understand, the only factor that is associated with adultery is “marital misconduct.”

If the court sees evidence that one spouse has engaged in some form of marital misconduct (which includes adultery), its approach to alimony changes. Generally speaking, the spouse who commits adultery gets the short end of the stick when it comes to alimony. That being said, things really depend on whether the adulterer was the financially dependent spouse or the spouse with the higher earning potential.

If the spouse with the higher earning potential commits adultery, their obligation to pay alimony is essentially a forgone conclusion. They may be forced to pay higher amounts of alimony due to their marital misconduct.

If the financially dependent spouse commits adultery, they may lose their right to receive adultery entirely. This is especially true if they have moved out of the marital home and started a new relationship with a new partner.

Finally, both spouses need to be aware that adultery will not impact a divorce if spouses have reconciled in the past. For example, if spouses start living together and resume “normal marital relations” after the adultery has taken place, courts will assume that they have forgiven each other - and the past instance of adultery will not be considered relevant.

Can Adultery Affect Property Division?

In most divorces, adultery does not really have an effect on property division. However, it can be an important factor in some situations, and this is important to keep in mind as you go through a high net worth divorce. Spouses with ample financial resources might have the ability to purchase lavish gifts for their illicit partners. They may even purchase a nearby apartment so that they can easily sneak away for adulterous encounters. They might also pay for extravagant vacations with their lovers under the guise of business trips.

These expenditures have a negative financial impact on the overall worth of the estate, and so they become factors when approaching equitable distribution in North Carolina divorces. After seeing the impact of these expenses, courts may decide to award far fewer marital assets to the “guilty” spouse.

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Divorce Attorney Today

If adultery is a factor in your divorce, you need to reach out to a qualified divorce attorney in Union County as soon as possible. This is even more important if you are going through a high net worth divorce where significant sums and assets are on the line. If you have been searching for an experienced lawyer in Monroe, look no further than Arnold & Smith, PLLC. With a wealth of high net worth divorce experience, we employ a range of strategies to help you finalize your divorce in a dignified, efficient manner.