Adultery in a marriage is painful and emotional. Some couples get past it, while for others it is a flat out deal breaker. So, is cheating grounds for divorce in New Mexico? It can be.
In New Mexico there are two main categories of divorce:
• No-Fault: The parties are incompatible and there is no hope of reconciliation; or
• Fault: There are allegations of cruel and inhuman treatment; adultery; or abandonment.
If you are claiming adultery on the part of your spouse then you must prove it plus demonstrate that it led to the dissolution of the marriage. Although New Mexico doesn’t have a legal definition of adultery, it basically means one spouse had consensual sex with someone other than his or her spouse.
To prove a spouse committed adultery, be prepared to investigate and produce. That is, the injured spouse will have to he or she will have to supply to the court relevant evidence of the adultery. There are a myriad of ways to do this from audio and video recordings, an investigator’s reports, photographs, emails, text messages, receipts, witnesses, social media postings, and anything else that can corroborate the cheating.
Yet the reality of this claim is that your cheating ex’s bad behavior will probably have very little effect on the proceedings. Judges do not like to get into the intimate details of a marriage; they prefer to dismantle it as efficiently as possible when asked to do so. Divorce court is not the place for punishment, so do not expect a Judge to penalize your philandering spouse.
However, if the adultery has detrimental effects on the children, it could impact the custody arrangement. It is rare; it may require a significant showing that the cheating spouse directly exposed the child to something harmful. There would have to be a direct link between the adultery and why that parent should not have the custody sought. For instance, if custody would then put the child in an environment that is not healthy, or one that has potential to cause injury to the child’s physical or mental well-being.
As for alimony, there is a roster of factors the court will consider in deciding whether to award it, and for what amount – adultery is not one of those factors.
Whether it’s the hassle, the cost, the exposure or the embarrassment many couples choose no-fault divorce, even if there has been adultery in their marriage. You have to make the best choice for you and your loved ones.
When deciding what choice to make consider speaking to one of our compassionate and insightful lawyers at Lightning Legal Group. We are here to help with all your family law issues whether it’s divorce, custody, alimony or adoption. We are the finest legal minds in New Mexico, so schedule a free consultation today by calling 505-247-2390.