Finding out about your spouse’s infidelity can certainly be shocking and may leave you wondering how adultery fits into the divorce laws in Maryland. If you’ve come to the difficult decision that your marriage is going to end because your spouse was unfaithful, then you might be wondering, “Will I get a greater share of the assets if my spouse cheated on me?”. The answer is no. It is a common misconception that infidelity can ultimately allow one spouse to take more than an equal share of marital property.
The hard truth is, if you go to court you will have to spend tens of thousands of dollars and up to two or more years before a judge hears your case. Once they do, a judge with likely divide all marital property equally.
However, keep in mind that all assets do not have to be equally divided if you both agree on how they will be divided. If you and your spouse both decide that the circumstances of your divorce entitle one person to a larger share of marital assets, it may be worth an unequal division of assets to save time and money spent on going to court.
To make this happen, you may want to consider entering into a marital settlement agreement (MSA), also known as a separation agreement. A separation agreement is a legally binding contract between spouses that clearly spells out each spouse’s rights and obligations concerning alimony, custody, child support, and property division.
At Jacobson Family Law, we will help you and your spouse negotiate an agreement that reflects what is fair for the both of you. Once the agreement is signed, we can then help you move forward with the divorce and the terms of your separation agreement are incorporated into your Judgment of Absolute Divorce, which then becomes enforceable by the court in the event of a breach.
Although cheating will not automatically result in one spouse getting a better divorce settlement than the other, it can certainly be factored into negotiating the division of marital assets. Any time infidelity is a factor in the ending of a marriage, it can certainly stir up a lot of emotions and animosity. Jacobson Family Law can help. Schedule an appointment with us today to learn how a marital separation agreement may benefit you.