Adultery, cheating and lying are all common reasons why people seek divorce. Clues that tip people off include constant texting, always being on the phone with a special "friend", and getting dressed up to go "bowling." Sometimes you find out by chance, maybe you saw a text, or your spouse left open their e-mail account on the house computer. Other times, friends and family members tell you that they saw your spouse out with someone else. However, there are instances when the cheating spouse tells you directly. Usually, when they tell you directly, they are also asking for a divorce.
Adultery Often Leads to an Adversarial Divorce
Adultery is one of the most common reasons people get divorced. It represents a break in the relationship that most people cannot overcome. It also represents a breach of trust. Unfortunately, divorcing for adultery most likely means that your upcoming divorce will be tumultuous and expensive because there is a lack of trust between you and your spouse. This means that your attorney will need to uncover and discover all of the financial and material facts about your marriage to ensure that a settlement will protect your rights.
Adultery in the Divorce Complaint
The first step to divorcing someone for cheating is to file a complaint for divorce. The complaint will have to state with particularity the allegations concerning the adultery.
In New Jersey, you are also required to name the person who has been cheating with your spouse as a party in the litigation. This means that they will need to be listed as a defendant on the Court papers, and that they will need to be personally served with a copy of the complaint. While it might seem like a good idea to file divorce for adultery, this requirement often deters those who wish to file for adultery.
Involving a third party frequently inflames an already volatile situation. It is important to assess what your long term goals are before deciding to file for adultery and serving a third party. If your goals are settlement, then dragging in the "girlfriend" or "boyfriend" will only aggravate your spouse and potentially lead to protracted litigation. For some though, filing for adultery is somewhat cathartic. It might feel good to finally "shame" your spouse and "shame" his or her new "honey." The choice is yours. Just realize that there may be unrealized repercussions.