Adultery, unfortunately, impacts millions of couples each and every year. One study estimated that around 40 percent of all marriages have at least one spouse that has had an affair at some point. Though these affairs can prove destructive to marriages, some people are surprised to learn about the impact of adultery on divorce in South Carolina, including what money you might walk away with. To learn more about the impact of adultery on divorce, keep reading.
Impact of adultery on alimony – The most surprising impact of adultery to some concerns alimony. In South Carolina, a party who is found to have committed adultery is not eligible to receive alimony. This may sound harsh, but the law aims to ensure that unfaithful spouses cannot try to force a faithful spouse to pay alimony.
Impact of adultery on property division – Though it's clear that those who have committed adultery in South Carolina will be barred from receiving alimony, it has much less impact when the Court is dividing the marital assets and debts. The Court may award the innocent spouse a slightly larger portion of the marital estate, but it is usually not by a significant amount.
However, if the cheating spouse used significant amounts of marital money to support the affair (such as paying for gifts, trips, hotel rooms, etc.), the Court may understandably penalize that spouse for those expenditures. In such cases, the Court may include an offset in the cheating spouse's portion of the martial estate, may require the cheating spouse to pay for such debts if they are still owed, or even require reimbursement to the innocent spouse.