The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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How Cheating on Your Spouse Affects Your Divorce in Illinois 

Posted on in Divorce

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1504186442.jpgInfidelity in a marriage can be one of the most painful experiences in a relationship. If your marraige ended because you or your spouse cheated, you may wonder how this will influence your divorce case. Illinois is considered a “no-fault” divorce state, meaning that cheating on your spouse doesn’t necessarily affect your ability to get a divorce. However, if you or your partner was unfaithful in your marriage, the outcome of your divorce may be impacted. 

What is Considered Cheating?

Spousal infidelity is classified in Illinois as:

  • A person knowingly engaging in an extramarital, sexual affair with a partner that is not his or her spouse

  • A person knowingly engaging in a sexual relationship with a partner who is openly married

What Elements of my Divorce May Be Impacted by Cheating?

In no-fault divorce states, traditional reasons to file for divorce such as adultery, abandonment, and cruelty do not hold up as grounds to divorce your spouse. In Illinois, you can seek a divorce when you and your spouse experience "irreconcilable differences.” This means that your attempts to salvage the marriage have failed and that further attempts to save the marriage would not be beneficial for you and your children.  

Illinois courts do not consider marital misconduct like cheating when determining the division of debts and assets however, there is one exception. If a spouse “dissipates assets” meaning they use, spend, sell, or destroy marital assets near the end of the marriage in a way that does not benefit both parties, that spouse may be required to reimburse the marital estate for the wasted assets. For example, if a man has a secret girlfriend and takes her on an expensive vacation, the money he spends on the girlfriend may be considered “dissipation of assets.” His wife could file a dissipation of assets claim during the property division phase of the divorce. 

Although a spouse can not use cheating as a viable reason to file for divorce, extramarital affairs can end up costing you financially if you were unfaithful and spent marital funds on your affair partner. 

Cheating can also increase the tension during the divorce. A spouse who has been cheated on may draw out divorce proceedings or refuse to settle to get back at the other spouse. Often, adultery during the marriage leads to added hostility during the divorce. 

Find a Kendall County Divorce Attorney  

Cheating may affect the spouses financially. It may also affect the entire family mentally and emotionally. The process of filing for a divorce and understanding what rights you are entitled to can be confusing, especially when handling emotional turmoil. Hiring an experienced Kane County divorce attorney can help ensure divorce rulings are handled fairly. An experienced lawyer will also be able to provide key insight into the divorce process and answer any of your questions. At The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., our skilled divorce attorney can guide you through the process. Contact our Kendall County attorney at 630-409-8184 for a consultation. 


The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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