First, it is important to understand that Oregon is a no-fault divorce
state. This means that there are no “grounds” required for
divorce. In many ways, this will impact how infidelity is viewed by the
court. Since the state no longer considers a spouse’s misconduct
as a cause of divorce (only irreconcilable differences), the goal of the
court is not to “point fingers” at a guilty party, but to
resolve the divorce according to the laws.
Going even further, the court does not allow for spouses to testify about
negative behaviors, such as infidelity, unless it is specifically and
directly related to a matter the court is trying to decide. For example,
the court may decide that the infidelity and motivations behind were harmful
to the children, ultimately hurting the cheating spouse’s chances
for obtaining more parenting time. In addition, if the spouse used an
excessive amount of money on the affair, the court may rule to give more
property or support to the other spouse.
Overall, infidelity could impact the following factors:
- How often a parent gets to visit or have parenting time with their children
- Whether or not they will be required to pay child support (due to limited custody)
- The division of certain property between the spouses
- Whether alimony, or spousal support, will be awarded to either spouse
The bottom line is that the court will only consider a spouse’s misconduct
or poor behavior if it directly relates to their ability to parent a child
or the other spouse’s ability to earn money/support themselves.
If a strong enough connection cannot be made, then it will likely have
little to no impact on how a divorce is resolved.
How do you protect your rights in a divorce?
If your spouse cheated on you and caused serious damage to your family
and their relationships with your children as a result, you need an Oregon
divorce lawyer on your side who can properly demonstrate this damage in
court. If you were a spouse caught in infidelity and fear your spouse
may try to use the situation to paint a negative picture of you, it is
also important for you to retain counsel and representation.
McKinley Irvin can provide this representation for your case and help you
secure the most favorable outcome possible.