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Does Adultery Impact Alimony in Massachusetts?

Does Adultery Impact Alimony in Massachusetts?

If your marriage is headed toward divorce and adultery is a factor or the factor for the divorce, you may wonder if cheating impacts a spouse’s ability to receive alimony, also known as spousal support. If your divorce may involve an alimony award, this is a valid question indeed.

For starters, some states, such as California, are called “no-fault divorce states,” which means a spouse can file for divorce simply because they want out of the marriage. In no-fault divorce states, one spouse can file for divorce because of “irreconcilable difference” with no regard to marital fault or misconduct.

Massachusetts is a Mixed State

Massachusetts is a mixed state, meaning spouses can divorce on no-fault or fault grounds. The grounds for divorce in Massachusetts, include: adultery, impotency, utter desertion (one spouse leaves the other spouse for a full year before the divorce is filed), chemical dependency, cruel and abusive treatment, irretrievable breakdown, the refusal to support their spouse, and a spouse’s criminal conviction with a sentence of five or more years.

As you may have noticed, adultery is a ground for divorce in Massachusetts, providing the innocent spouse is able to show adequate proof. So, “Does adultery mean that a cheating spouse is no longer entitled to alimony?”

It is not automatic that adultery will be a factor in alimony. In some cases, a cheating spouse can still receive alimony despite their misconduct. It all depends on the facts and judges handle such situations on a case-by-case basis. Is it possible for a cheating spouse to be denied alimony they would otherwise be entitled to? Yes, it’s possible but unlikely.

On the other hand, when a cheating spouse spends marital funds on their affair; for example, a cheating husband buys his girlfriend plastic surgery, judges are more likely to consider wasteful dissipation of marital assets(to squander marital assets) when making an alimony decision, or when dividing the couple’s marital property.

Looking for a Framingham divorce lawyer? Contact Barach Law Group, LLC today.

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