A study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) cites adultery as the leading reason for divorce at a staggering 21.6% of all cases. This statistic makes sense since extramarital affairs are the final straw for most people. Petitioners and their divorce lawyers can confront unfaithful spouses in Georgia Superior Court rooms across the state.
The legal definition of adultery is sexual intercourse between a married individual and any person of any gender outside of his or her marriage. Proving adultery in family law courts impacts alimony payments and how assets are divided. It is difficult to gather enough evidence to meet all legal requirements.
How Does Adultery Affect Your Divorce in Georgia?
Deciding to file for divorce on grounds of infidelity is a matter of preference. Some people do not want to go through the emotional anguish of reliving a spouse’s hurtful actions. Others see it as an opportunity for validation and financial protection. Infidelity affects divorce in two ways:
- The cheating spouse’s ability to collect alimony; and
- How the equitable division of marital property is determined
A spouse guilty of adultery is usually unable to collect alimony payments from the innocent spouse. A judge will take his or her actions into consideration during asset division hearings. Additional property is often awarded to spouses whose partner spent joint funds on the affair.
Types of Evidence to Prove Adultery in Georgia
Evidence of adultery is difficult to get by the accusing spouse. Partners committing infidelity are discreet in most of their activities, but it is not impossible to prove. Sometimes, the cheating spouse will admit to the affair on court record. Collecting admissible evidence is an important activity either way. A Georgia divorce lawyer can offer you solid legal counsel during this phase.
Direct evidence is clear and tangible proof that your spouse was having an affair. It is the most powerful form of evidence you can produce. Aside from an admission, examples of direct evidence include:
- Written communications that clearly state adulterous activity occurred;
- Explicit photographs or video showing the act of sexual intercourse between your spouse and his or her lover; or
- Testimony and documentation that shows an affair occurred.
Obtaining direct evidence is difficult since it relates to private activities. Direct evidence may take months to compile.
Circumstantial evidence is proof that an affair could have occurred during the marriage. It is indirect and only suggests that something may have happened between the two people. Georgia is one of a few states that allow it to be submitted during divorce proceedings. Examples of circumstantial evidence include:
- Multiple phone calls and text messages appearing on the cell phone bill, but all messages are deleted;
- Photographs that show the two people kissing, holding hands, or on dates; or
- A witness who saw them acting romantically involved with each other.
Keep in mind you need to prove your spouse was having sexual intercourse with someone else. This requirement is what makes infidelity difficult to demonstrate in Georgia. Creating a compelling case is critical in affirming your accusations.
Proving and winning an adultery case in a divorce court is a complex undertaking. Working with an aggressive legal team is critical to the most successful outcome. At Charlton & Glover, Attorneys at Law, we have been serving wronged spouses in Roswell, GA since 1994. Let us ease your burden. Call our office at (770) 993-1005 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation with a divorce lawyer today.