Written by Jonathan Breeden
Marital misconduct consists of various forms of bad behavior that can harm you and your spouse’s marriage. Sometimes, this misconduct can take a marriage beyond the breaking point, in which case you and your spouse may begin divorce proceedings. Allegations of marital misconduct often become the focal point of a divorce case. This is because evidence of misconduct can affect how a judge awards alimony. For this reason, divorce lawyers often direct much of their energy towards proving (or disproving) acts of marital misconduct.
If your spouse is alleging you committed marital misconduct in North Carolina, call a marital misconduct attorney from Breeden Law Office at (919) 661-4970, or reach out online to schedule a case consultation.
You can find the legal definition of marital misconduct in North Carolina General Statutes § 50-16.1A (3). Any of the following acts are considered marital misconduct so long as they occurred during your marriage and before the date of your separation:
It is proven that you committed any of the above actions, your spouse could get the upper hand in divorce proceedings. Once you are certain that you will separate from your spouse, you should only contact them through your lawyer to avoid providing their side with any evidence of marital misconduct. You never know how your seemingly innocuous statements about the past could be construed as admissions of misconduct by a clever attorney.
Marital misconduct is an important factor that judges use in determining alimony. Alimony refers to the financial support that one former spouse must supply to the other after a divorce. Generally, the supporting spouse must provide alimony to the dependent spouse, unless evidence of their marital misconduct demands otherwise.
If you are a dependent spouse asking for alimony from your supporting spouse, the judge will review several factors, including:
Misconduct is usually weighed equally to these other factors in determining alimony awards. But there’s an exception: infidelity. When there is evidence that you cheated on the supporting spouse, you may be barred from receiving alimony. Conversely, a supporting spouse who cheats on the dependent spouse will generally have to provide the dependent spouse with alimony following the divorce.
Judges have wide discretion in awarding alimony, meaning that the outcome of your divorce proceeding will depend on the facts of your case, and the ability of your lawyer to articulate them in your favor. If you are concerned about the effect of alleged marital misconduct on your divorce proceedings, you should talk to a North Carolina divorce lawyer today. The sooner you get an attorney on your side, the better your chances of ensuring that you and your spouse part ways fairly.