Is Adultery a Big Deal in South Carolina Family Court?

Dec 10, 2015

Many marriages end because a spouse is unfaithful.  The decision to stay together after an affair has to be made by both parties and getting past it takes a lot of patience, work and understanding.

Whether it is a one night stand or an ongoing affair, adultery in South Carolina impacts a divorce in several ways.

If proven, adultery is an absolute bar to an adulterous spouse receiving alimony.  If you are in need of spousal support, sex outside of marriage carries a heavy financial price.

Adultery can also impact the division of the marital property and debt as the fault of a party is a factor that the court considers in equitable dividing the marital estate.

Adultery can also have an impact on child custody.  While the court should not use a party’s fault in the breakdown of a marriage to punish that party in the custody award, a party’s actions that impact the children’s best interests can be used in determining custody.  At a minimum, a cheating spouse who exposes his or her children to the paramour (other woman or man) will likely be negatively impacted in the custody determination.

Finally, if a party does not admit to the adultery and the other spouse proves the adultery in court, the cheating party will likely be required to pay the other spouse’s legal fees and private investigator fees.

Contact Jason Elliott Law Firm if you want more information on how adultery impacts a divorce or separation.