Cheating and divorce

Marital infidelity happens often. New Jersey courts recognize that it can destroy a marriage. 

However, people who want a divorce because of an affair might have some work ahead of them, for two main reasons. First, the court would require proof. Second, the cheating spouse is unlikely to make the process easy. 

A pattern of cheating

Infidelity is sometimes an isolated event. However, a recent study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior suggests that cheating could be a way of life for some people. Suspicion could be, too. 

The study used a survey to determine whether people who had cheated before were more likely to cheat again. The results were relatively clear. 

People who admitted that they were unfaithful in previous relationships were three times more likely to admit to cheating in their current relationships. While this does not necessarily prove anything by itself, it is a significant increase. 

The study also measured suspicion. People who suspected that their partners might have cheated before were four times more likely to suspect current and ongoing infidelities. 

A tougher process

With those scientific results in mind, it makes sense that the courts would cautiously approach a claim of cheating as grounds for divorce. Additionally, using adultery as grounds often prompts the other spouse to contest. 

As one can see on the New Jersey courts website, a disagreement about the grounds is right at the top of the list of reasons for contested divorce. This is why, if they cannot formally prove infidelity, many people choose to dissolve their marriages on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. 

Contested divorcees also often require more resources, especially in the form of court time and attorney hours. Depending on how much is at stake, a simpler option might end up netting the injured spouse a bigger settlement.