Interviewer: What common expectations do people walk in with; that you have to tell them are either real or not real?
Tanya: Well, a lot of times, people have divorces due to infidelity. People think that infidelity is going to get a benefit in the divorce as a punishment. They think if the other person cheated on them, they can go in front of the judge and prove to the judge that her husband or my wife cheated. Therefore, he is the cause of the divorce. Therefore, she should win the divorce and get more money or a custody advantage. It does not work like that at all. New York and New Jersey have no fault divorce.
The reason why you get a divorce has absolutely nothing to do with how much money you do or do not get. So if one person cheated and that is why you are getting divorced, you will not get more or less money or custody because of that.
Infidelity can play a part in how much money you do or do not get if there is either a financial gain or dissipation of marital assets resulting from the infidelity. If the recipient spouse is living with somebody and is financially benefiting from living with that person, it can affect alimony. If a spouse is supporting a paramour or has used marital funds on this person, it can be a factor in recouping the money spent.
Suppose the parties are getting divorced. Say the husband made $200,000 a year and the wife did not work. The spouse earning $200,000 would normally pay the wife alimony.
However, the wife is living in a marriage-like relationship with her paramour, either during the duration of the divorce or after the divorce, and that person is contributing directly to her benefit, he or she is paying bills for her or essentially living off of the husband’s money, then the alimony would be reduced or eliminated.
This is because the need is not there. That is the only time that the cheating equates or correlates to money. It is just when the spouse is financially benefiting from the paramour. The payer no longer has to make those payments because the person does not need it anymore. But the actual act of cheating does not get you any benefits in family court or harm the cheating spouse.