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Infidelity and Divorce in Oregon

There are a number of issues that are often cited as reasons for a divorce. While Oregon may be a true “no-fault” divorce state, meaning no specific reason for a divorce can be cited or considered as the cause of the divorce, no one gets divorced without any cause.

Some of the most commonly cited causes for divorce include lack of communication, basic incompatibility, money issues, and of course, infidelity. Infidelity, oftentimes referred to as “adultery,” is defined by Merriam-Webster as “the act or fact of having a romantic or sexual relationship with someone other than one’s husband, wife, or partner.”

Whether you refer to it as infidelity, adultery, cheating, or something else, unfaithfulness to your partner in a marital relationship can have a devastating impact on any union, and quite often leads to divorce.

But what impact does infidelity have on the legal divorce process? Less than you might imagine in the State of Oregon.

As we previously mentioned, since Oregon is a true “no-fault” divorce state, there cannot be a declared reason for a divorce beyond an irreconcilable breakdown of the marriage from the perspective of one or both spouses. One cannot even testify about a spouse’s infidelity or other misconduct unless it pertains specifically to a decision being made by the court.

However, infidelity can impact certain decisions that a judge must make about a divorce. For example, while one spouse’s infidelity may not automatically entitle the other to alimony, it is a factor that the judge could consider in electing to award alimony if the adulterous actions directly impacted the other spouse’s financial needs (i.e. if the unfaithful spouse spent a large amount of his or her wealth on the affair).

Additionally, dating someone else during the divorce process will likely not have any sort of official or quantifiable impact on the divorce proceedings, but it can create major challenges with regard to your ability to reach any sort of settlements or agreements with your spouse as well as complexities involving how your children will handle the divorce. We generally suggest to our clients that they avoiding dating until the divorce is finalized.

Even though Oregon is a “no-fault” state, there are numerous intricacies regarding how infidelity can impact your divorce case. Every situation is unique, so it is vital that you consult with an experienced divorce and family law attorney like those at Landerholm Family Law in order to fully understand how adultery committed by you or your spouse could affect your case. Give us a call today.