Does Cheating Affect Alimony?

Does Cheating Affect Alimony?

May 12, 2021 Off By Glespynorson

Divorce is difficult enough in and of itself, but when it is based on one spouse’s cheating, it can be that much more so. If adultery is involved in your divorce, the fact is that, in the State of Georgia, it can play a role in whether or not alimony will be awarded in your case. If you have divorce concerns involving alimony – or anything else divorce related – reach out to an experienced Forsyth County family law attorney for the legal guidance you need.

No-Fault Divorce

In Georgia, a no-fault divorce is one that is based on your marriage being irretrievably broken (what you may think of as irreconcilable differences), which basically means that you are no longer able to get along or maintain a marriage. In such a divorce, neither of you accuses the other of being responsible for the marriage’s failure, and the terms of your divorce are unlikely to be affected by fault on the part of either party.

Fault-Based Divorce

Georgia also allows fault-based divorce, which can be predicated on any of the following grounds:

  • Cheating (or adultery)
  • Habitual intoxication or drug addiction
  • Cruel treatment of the other
  • Desertion

If your divorce was caused by one of you having an affair outside the marriage, the court can take this into consideration in its determinations regarding alimony. It is important to recognize, however, that the burden of proof when it comes to your spouse’s cheating (or vice versa) is on you, and without your spouse admitting to the affair, this can be difficult to accomplish. Proof in this context refers to demonstrating that your spouse had both the opportunity and the inclination to conduct the affair.


Alimony represents financial support for a spouse who is left financially disadvantaged by divorce, and it is paid by the spouse with the financial ability to help. There is no set formula for determining and/or calculating alimony in the State of Georgia – instead, it is decided on a case-by-case basis.

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The Effect of Adultery on Alimony

A spouse who would be entitled to alimony can be barred from receiving it if he or she cheated within the marriage, but this isn’t the complete story. In order for cheating to affect alimony in Georgia, it must be a cause of the divorce. In other words, the fact of your divorcing spouse’s cheating cannot be used to influence the court’s decision if you are seeking a no-fault divorce. Further, if your spouse had an affair that you forgave and that did not put an end to you living together as a married couple, it likely will not affect alimony in your case. As with so many other things related to divorce, it’s complicated.

It’s Time to Consult with an Experienced Forsyth County Family Law Attorney Can Help

The trusted Forsyth County family law attorneys at Banks, Stubbs & McFarland are committed to using the full force of their impressive legal skill in pursuit of your case’s most favorable resolution. To learn more, please don’t wait to contact or call us at 770-887-1209 today.