How Does Adultery Affect a Divorce?

Adultery is grounds for divorce in Utah.  However, in order to obtain a Decree of Divorce, you need only establish that you and your spouse have irreconcilable differences.  This no-fault divorce law allows parties to get divorced for virtually any reason.  Establishing adultery will not help you get divorced faster or otherwise alter the divorce process.

Adultery rarely alters the outcome of a divorce in any significant way.  However, when the court divides marital property and awards alimony, adultery may help tip the scales in favor of the non-offending party.  Utah courts are instructed to consider all relevant facts and equitable circumstances.  In addition, Utah courts are permitted to consider fault when calculating alimony.

Adultery may also impact custody and parent-time decisions. Past moral conduct is one of the factors the court may consider in determining who should be deemed the primary custodial parent.  Moreover, Utah courts strive to place children in the most stable environment available. New relationships that have not withstood the test of time place the child at risk of further change in the future.  Long hours spent away from the marital home may indicate to the court a lack of bond between parent and child and an inability to place the child’s needs above personal needs.