If My Spouse is Having an Affair, Will I Get More in an Illinois Divorce?

If My Spouse is Having an Affair, Will I Get More in an Illinois Divorce? | How Does an Affair Impact a Divorce?

Video by Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty
Article written by Illinois & Iowa Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty
Updated on
November 18, 2019

In this article, we answer the question, “if my spouse is having an affair, will I get more in an Illinois divorce?”  We address the following:

  • What are the grounds for divorce in Illinois?
  • How is spousal maintenance determined in Illinois?
  • How is division of property determined in Illinois divorce?
  • How does an affair impact Illinois divorce?

What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Illinois?

In Illinois the only grounds for divorce is “irreconcilable differences.”  This means that generally, one party’s behavior in causing a divorce will not impact the terms of the divorce.  

How is Spousal Maintenance Determined in Illinois?

Spousal maintenance is a lump sum or ongoing payment that may be awarded as part of a divorce in order to support the spouse with a lower earning capacity.  In Illinois, courts weigh several factors, including the income and the needs of each party to determine whether spousal maintenance is appropriate.  

If spousal maintenance is appropriate, courts generally apply statutory guidelines to determine the amount of spousal maintenance when the combined income of the parties is less than $500,000.00 per year.  If the parties’ combined income is above this amount, courts are free to deviate from the guidelines. 

When guidelines are applied, spousal maintenance is calculated by subtracting 25% of the recipient’s net income from 33.33% of the payor’s net income, with a cap at 40% of the parties’ combined incomes.  The duration is determined using a table that is based on the length of the marriage.  
Whether one party had an affair that led to the divorce does not factor into the court’s determination of whether spousal maintenance is appropriate or how much to award if the court determines spousal maintenance is appropriate. 

For more, check out our article: Illinois Spousal Maintenance Explained

How is division of property determined in Illinois divorce?

Illinois is an “equitable division” state, meaning that rather than dividing marital property equally between divorcing spouses, courts will weigh several factors to determine how marital property will be divided.  These include but are not limited to the contribution of each spouse in acquiring the property, including contributions as a homeowner; the economic circumstances of each spouse; the duration of the marriage; and the health and needs of each party.  

Parties’ behavior in causing a divorce, including engaging in an affair, will generally not factor into the courts’ determination as to how property will be divided. 

For more, check out How is Property Divided in an Illinois Divorce?

How Does an Affair Impact a Divorce in Illinois?

Generally the fact that one party had an affair will not impact the terms of a divorce in Illinois.  As discussed above, it does not factor into whether there are grounds for divorce, how spousal support will be allocated, or how property will be divided.  

The one issue that an affair may impact is child custody, now known as the allocation of parenting time and responsibility.  

How Can an Affair Impact Child Custody in Illinois?

When determining parenting time and responsibility, courts will look at all relevant factors in order to determine what parenting arrangement will be in the best interests of the child.  While the fact that a party had an affair in the past is not likely to be relevant to the child’s best interests’ in a vacuum, the current living situation of each parent does impact this determination.  This includes the child’s potential contact with people that each parent is currently co-inhabiting with or dating.  An affair may also be part of a pattern of behavior that is likely to negatively impact the child going forward, and this may be relevant to custody arrangements.


Additional Financial Considerations
from Financial Experts

From Financial Experts

For many years, financial institutions have been creating a disservice to clients and the industry as a whole for years.
View More Professional Considerations

Presented By O'Flaherty Law

How Does an Affair Impact a Divorce?

Need Legal Help? 

Schedule a
Consultation

What to Expect From a Consultation

The purpose of a free consultation is to determine whether our firm is a good fit for your legal needs. Although we often discuss expected results and costs, our attorneys do not give legal advice unless and until you choose to retain us. Although most consultations are complimentary, some may carry a charge depending on the type of matter and meeting location.

Leave a Comment With Your Questions

Read more about

Family Law & Divorce

Disclaimer: Our articles and comment responses do not constitute legal advice and are not intended to create an attorney-client relationship.

Please contact us to schedule a free consultation for legal advice specific to your situation.

Here are some articles that may interest you

Contact us for a Free Consultation

Schedule a free consultation

O'Flaherty Law is happy to meet with you by phone or at our office locations in:

Who We Are
We are your community law firm. Our Illinois & Iowa Attorneys are committed to providing exceptional client service in a cost-effective manner in the areas of Family Law, Probate, Estate Planning, Civil Litigation, Guardianship, Criminal Defense, Corporate & Contract Law, Bankruptcy and Real Estate.

Some of Our Accomplishments

Best Child Support Lawyers in Chicago
DuPage County Probate Attorney
Kevin P. O'Flaherty
Rated by Super Lawyers


loading ...
Naperville attorney
DuPage County Probate Attorney
Business Articles & Podcasts

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required