When things are going well in your relationship with your spouse, it is almost impossible to consider that he or she would ever hurt you, let alone be unfaithful. In all honesty, instances of cheating are not often the result of one spouse trying to hurt their partner. Instead, infidelity is usually a manifestation of deep, serious relationship issues, such as poor communication, overall discontent, and feelings of loneliness. An episode of infidelity, however, could be the proverbial last straw that prompts the offended partner to file a petition for divorce, sometimes with the expectation that the unfaithfulness will afford the filer additional benefits during the process of divorce.
Legal Considerations Regarding Infidelity in Divorce
If your spouse has cheated on you, it is entirely understandable for you to feel angry and betrayed and to hope to hold your spouse responsible for his or her hurtful choices, especially if you feel that his or her actions are responsible for destroying your marriage. However, unless you have a valid prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement that includes an unfaithfulness clause, you will probably not receive any extra considerations under Illinois law.
Unlike some other states, Illinois no longer allows for infidelity to be listed as grounds for divorce. In fact, all fault-related grounds were eliminated in 2016, and the only acceptable grounds for divorce is a marital breakdown due to irreconcilable differences between the spouses, no matter what else might have happened during the course of the marriage. Illinois law also expressly forbids the court from taking “marital misconduct” including infidelity into account when deciding on spousal support or allocating marital property. However, it is possible that you could recover marital funds that your spouse spent on an affair by filing a claim of dissipation....