Indiana dating divorce
If your client is under the impression that merely dating or keeping company with someone is acceptable because his or her spouse will be hard-pressed to prove that actual sex has taken place, he or she is wrong.
In this state it has long been held that it is unnecessary to have direct evidence of illicit intercourse and that adultery can be proven rather by a mere preponderance of circumstantial evidence. Adultery or otherwise inappropriate marital conduct committed after separation is indeed a ground for divorce.
If it were not, then, in the words of our Court of Appeals, “any spouse is privileged to ‘move out’ of the marital home and cohabit with another without creating a ground for divorce.
Such an interpretation of the statute would largely emasculate its intent and effect.” Furthermore, “[i]t surely takes more than a mere separation of the parties to terminate the obligations incurred when the parties voluntarily entered into the marriage contract.” This has long been the law in our state, as our Court of Appeals opined nearly 60 years ago that the trial court in a divorce action can properly consider matters occurring after the divorce complaint has been filed, as long as such matters have been incorporated therein by amendment or supplemental complaint. Many clients find this perplexing because they feel that once a divorce complaint has been filed, that signals the end of the marital relationship.
Even if the parties have been separated for some length of time, romantic involvement during the divorce proceedings can be used to prove marital misconduct during the marriage.
Your client’s morals can be called into question even if he or she had been perfect prior to separation.
The other spouse may try to use your client’s post-separation romantic adventures as evidence that the breakup of the marriage was your client’s fault, even if it is not true and even if the meeting of the new love interest did not occur until after the parties’ separation. If there is any allegation of pre-separation adultery, such conduct post-separation will certainly not encourage the judge to believe that pre-separation behavior would have been any different. How Extramarital Relationships Can Impact the Lawsuit and Beyond Judges and experts who assist the court in making custody and parenting time determinations are generally not impressed with parties who date during divorce proceedings.
More often than not, such behavior is considered poor decision making, callousness toward the feelings of the parties’ children, and poor role-modeling for the children. The slightest nuances in a case can cause the judge’s decision on any topic to fall in your client’s favor or against your client.
Adultery is not defined within the Tennessee Code but is widely accepted by the judiciary to mean sexual intercourse between a married person and a third party other than one’s spouse.
An emotional affair, while not technically adultery, can still be considered inappropriate marital conduct, the catch-all fault ground for divorce in our state.