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Can he claim adultery if he forgave me?

By Spodek Law Group | July 27, 2023
(Last Updated On: October 12, 2023)

Last Updated on: 12th October 2023, 06:23 pm

Can He Claim Adultery If He Forgave Me?

Discovering that your spouse has committed adultery can feel like the ultimate betrayal. You may be wondering if divorce is inevitable or if there’s hope to save your marriage. What happens if you try to work through it but ultimately split up – can he still claim adultery later on?This is a complicated situation with no one-size-fits-all answer. There are a few key factors to consider:

What constitutes forgiveness legally?

Forgiveness in the eyes of the law is known as “condonation.” This means that the betrayed spouse knew about the affair, indicated they forgave it through words or actions, and resumed a normal marital relationship afterwards.Some examples could include:

  • Telling your spouse “I forgive you”
  • Agreeing to marriage counseling
  • Having intimate relations again
  • Continuing to live together as normal

The timeframe matters too. If the betrayed spouse cohabitates with the adulterer for an extended time after learning of the affair, like over 6 months, it can be evidence of forgiving the adultery.However, condonation does not necessarily last forever. If the adulterer commits new marital offenses later on, like abuse or more cheating, the condonation can be revoked. The original adultery may then be relevant again legally.

How might condonation affect the divorce?

If the betrayed spouse condoned the affair but later files for divorce, the adulterer may claim condonation as a defense. This could impact the divorce in a few key ways:

  • It may prevent using adultery as grounds for a fault-based divorce. Without admitting adultery, the couple may have to separate for some time first.
  • The adulterer may be able to claim spousal support. Condonation can allow alimony in some cases, even if adultery normally would have barred it.
  • It may affect asset division if the judge believes adultery didn’t cause the marital breakdown. More assets could go to the adulterer as a result.

Can he still claim it was adultery after reconciling?

If there was a period of condonation, the betrayed spouse cannot then claim the original adultery was the cause of divorce. The adulterer could argue the affair was forgiven and not the reason for splitting up.However, if the adulterer later commits new acts of adultery, the betrayed spouse may now be able to point to the totality of the affairs as justification. The original infidelity, along with the new acts, can be cited as cumulative grounds.

How can I protect myself during reconciliation?

If you want to reconcile, but also want to keep your options open in case it doesn‘t work out, consider:

  • Discussing guidelines for reconciliation and expectations clearly
  • Attending counseling to work through what happened
  • Having the adulterer sign a post-nuptial agreement
  • Refraining from sexual intimacy initially
  • Taking time apart to think before cohabitating again
  • Consulting an attorney to understand your rights

This provides evidence that you attempted reconciliation cautiously, and did not automatically forgive and resume the marriage. It shows you tried reconciling without fully condoning the affair upfront.

If we separate again, what are my options?

You have a few options if you split up down the road after attempting reconciliation:

  • File for no-fault divorce – This doesn’t require placing blame. You just state the marriage is irretrievably broken.
  • Claim unreasonable behavior – Like frequent arguing or abuse. Adultery could be an example, but you don’t have to prove it.
  • Allege new adultery – If he cheated again you may be able to point to that as justification, even if you condoned the first affair.
  • Agree to divorce terms – If you can negotiate spousal support, asset division, etc then you can file an uncontested divorce.

Should I admit my own affair?

If you also had an affair during the marriage, confessing may not help your case. Admitting adultery cannot be used as grounds for divorce. Keep in mind:

  • Your own adultery may be used to lower your share of assets. Hiding any affairs you had reduces this risk.
  • If you reconciled after your affair, your spouse condoned it. He cannot then use your adultery against you.
  • If you are seeking spousal support, admitting adultery could bar you from receiving alimony.

Unless your spouse plans to allege you had an affair, it may be best not to volunteer that information during divorce proceedings.

How can I prove adultery during divorce?

If your spouse had another affair after reconciliation failed, you may want to prove adultery to justify the divorce. Some options include:

  • Hiring a private investigator – To gather evidence like photos, videos, receipts from hotels, gifts purchased, etc.
  • Obtaining text/email records – If you have access to your spouse’s phone or accounts, you can submit incriminating messages.
  • Using testimony – Witnesses like friends, relatives, or the person your spouse cheated with can testify about the affair.
  • Bank/credit card statements – Purchases like hotel rooms, gifts, dating site memberships may indicate adultery.
  • Social media – Flirty messages, romantic photos, and posts indicating a relationship can help prove an affair.

How will adultery impact spousal support?

In most states, adultery will bar a spouse from receiving alimony. However, if the betrayed spouse condoned the affair, the adulterer may now be eligible for spousal support.Factors like the length of marriage, income levels, child custody, and career sacrifices will also play a role. There are sometimes exceptions too, like if the adulterer would become a public charge without support.

Key Takeaways:

  • Condonation and forgiveness can prevent using adultery as grounds for divorce later on.
  • Reconciling after an affair can impact spousal support rights.
  • New acts of adultery may still be relevant, even if you forgave the first affair.
  • Do not admit to your own affairs if possible. It cannot help your divorce case.
  • Attempting reconciliation cautiously can help preserve your rights.
  • There are a few options to prove adultery if needed.

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