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Affairs don't change property division

Divorce has a way to bring out the very worst in people but divorces brought on by a spouse's infidelity can intensify it dramatically. Many times when a spouse has been cheated on, they tend to bring up their partner's infidelities to their attorneys or even the family court judge. It is not uncommon for spouses to think that their soon-to-be ex's behavior somehow disqualifies them from a fair or equitable property distribution. As much as the victims of unfaithful spouses probably wish it did, it doesn't. And generally speaking, the family court will not consider a spouse's misconduct when doing so.

In Illinois, property division is based on the equitable distribution model. What is fair is not always what is equal, and a spouse's misconduct during their marriage doesn't change that. The aspects that are taken into account, including the length of the marriage, contribution and earning ability, are all combined to give the family court a clear picture of what should be considered fair in property division.

While unfaithful spouses may breathe a sign of relief knowing their infidelity will not impact their property division, they should be warned that it doesn't necessarily mean it won't impact their divorce. Hurt spouses can prolong a divorce and contest relatively anything they want. Depending on how angry they are, they may be willing to fight you on every issue, every step of the way.

It is important that spouses facing what may be a difficult or complex divorce get the help of an experienced attorney. Regardless of marital misconduct, having the right representation may make all the difference in how long and how complicated the process may be.

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Goddard & Malmquist

Goddard & Malmquist
1250 South Grove Avenue
Suite 101
Barrington, IL 60010

Phone: 847-382-3995
Fax: 847-382-4038
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