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Don’t Litigate a Divorce Because Your Spouse Had an Affair!

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Don’t Litigate a Divorce Because Your Spouse Had an Affair!

Don’t Litigate a Divorce Because Your Spouse Had an Affair! by Daniel R. Burns

{2:54 minutes to read} I often work with couples where one of them has had an affair. When this is the case, it is common for the other spouse to feel hurt and angry. In addition, he/she often does not trust the spouse that had the affair.

While the affair may have damaged the marriage beyond the point of repair, it is how the spouse that has been cheated on responds that determines how well the couple and their children get through the resulting divorce.

I have often discussed how the Emotional Divorce is often more difficult to navigate than the legal one. But when an affair is the reason for the hurt and anger, the level of emotional damage is usually much greater. This is when it is most important for the betrayed spouse to take a breath and carefully consider his/her options.

Too often the first thing the injured spouse does is contact an attorney. The attorney is likely to suggest litigation as a way to make the “guilty” party pay.

However, the legal system is not designed to deal with emotional issues. While there are many reasons why this is the case, the most common are:

  • Courts do not have the time or interest in sorting out who is right or wrong, since the law does not “punish” a spouse for “marital misconduct”;
  • Judges generally do not have the skills or training to deal with emotional issues;
  • It is rare that either spouse will even have an opportunity to speak directly to the judge, and if he/she does, it will be for a very limited amount of time and will be limited to the legal and financial issues of the divorce, not the emotional ones.

Unfortunately, these facts are often not mentioned when a client first meets with an attorney to discuss a divorce. While the attorney may empathize with you since it is his or her job to be your advocate, at the end of the day your emotional issues will not be addressed by the court system.

So, if you are looking to address the hurt caused by your spouse’s affair, see a therapist. If you want a divorce settlement that works for you and your children, see a professional divorce mediator.

Daniel R. Burns

Attorney & Mediator
1187 Troy Schenectady Road
Latham, NY 12110
Phone: (518) 529-5200

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