Does Infidelity Affect Divorce in Oregon?

Posted on May 04, 2015 10:35am

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.

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