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Adultery and Divorce in Pennsylvania

August 17, 2012

My spouse cheated on me “I Want a Divorce”

troubledIf you feel emotionally injured because a spouse is unfaithful, I want a divorce may be the first response. If the adultery is longstanding, and the love and trust are gone from the marriage and cannot be repaired then divorce may be your best option. However, I counsel my clients first to be sure their marriage is irreparably broken before considering divorce. If you want a divorce to ‘get back” at your spouse and take him/her for all they are worth, because he/she cheated, then learn a bit about Pennsylvania Divorce Law.

While, under certain circumstances, adultery still may be a basis for a “Fault ” divorce in Pennsylvania, it may not prove to be the answer that you seek. The process may be complicated, protracted and have unintended effects on children. Pennsylvania also is a No Fault state, which means that if both parties consent to a divorce, or if the marriage is broken beyond repair and the parties have lived separately for a minimum of two years, so long as conditions are met, the parties may get a divorce, even if one party objects.

If there is adultery in your marriage, it does not have to be and sometimes should not be the basis for your divorce. It is best to discuss this with your attorney. Contrary to popular media portrayals, property division, child custody and even alimony are not automatically affected by adultery.

Reference 23 Pa C.S.A. § 3301 (a) (2)