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Divorce Over Adultery

One of the most frequently cited reasons for a New Jersey divorce is adultery. In New Jersey, there are “fault” and “no-fault” justifications for divorce. If the divorce is “no-fault,” then the general reason presented is irreconcilable differences. If there is a “fault” in the divorce and adultery is presented as the reason there must be evidence that there is adultery in order to use it in the divorce proceeding.There are many kinds of evidence that can be used in a divorce due to adultery. That evidence can rise from suspicion stemming from strange behaviors, odd work hours, and changes to appearance to outright proof such as a witness, a text message, a letter, a social media conversation, or seeing your spouse with the other person.

Signals That A Spouse Might Be Cheating

fighting couple

There are certain signs to look for when wondering whether your spouse has been committing adultery. Some, as mentioned before, are more obvious than others. If your spouse is spending a significant amount of time on their appearance with a concerted effort to look better, dress better, get in better shape, have an improved haircut and is taking more time to decide what to wear when this was never a priority, then this is a signal that something might be happening behind your back. Social media, text messaging and emails can lead to temptation and perhaps the decision to cheat. If your spouse has recently gotten in touch with old friends that might include an old boyfriend or girlfriend or is spending an inordinate amount of time on the computer, is constantly looking at their cell phone and not paying attention to you, this is a warning sign of infidelity. With the inexpensiveness of pay-as-you-go cell phones, it's easy for a person to have a separate phone with a different number, and you might not even be aware of it. If your spouse's work hours change suddenly and they have to spend extra time at the office when there's no justifiable reason for doing so, this indicates the possibility that there is an affair going on. There could be adultery if the spouse has no explanation for where they were or doing or is acting strangely uncomfortable in a manner that you can sense something is amiss. Other signs could be the smell of an unfamiliar perfume or cologne, clothes that come up missing, medications such as Viagra that were not needed before. Birth control devices found in the home, in the clothes or in the spouse's vehicle make it clear that your suspicions might be correct. These may be more subtle signs that you might not be aware of, but if a neighbor sees your spouse with an unknown person at the home, or you read an email or text message, or actually catch your spouse with the other person—known as the paramour—then you do not need to use suspicion to file for divorce due to adultery, you have all the evidence you need. Spying can be a slippery slope and certain amounts of snooping are in a legal gray area. If you make the decision to tape phone calls or videotape your spouse, it could be a mistake. New Jersey laws are very specific about surveillance and you could be breaking the law, getting yourself in trouble in an attempt to simply validate your suspicions may not make sense.

Options For A Divorce Filing In New Jersey

Even if the final straw in breaking up the marriage is adultery, couples in New Jersey have the choice of filing for a “no-fault” dissolution of the marriage. What this means is that when filing for New Jersey divorce, the complainant does not have to blame the defendant for causing the divorce whether the filing is due to adultery or another reason. In general, when the decision is made to file a “no fault” divorce, the complainant will say it is due to “irreconcilable differences.” The phrase means exactly what it says in that the couple has come to an impasse in the relationship and would like to end the marriage without the contentious back-and-forth that generally accompanies something as emotionally troublesome as an allegation and proof of adultery. Many couples who choose this option can either come to an agreement on how to divide the marital assets without an extended battle and do not want the adultery to be known as a matter of public record. This might be due to children in the relationship or for some other reason. If, however, the decision is made to file for a “fault” divorce, then the reason for the filing must be proven. If adultery is the reason, then there must be evidence presented that the act took place.

How Can Adultery Be Proven?


In many instances, the adultery was discovered through incidental means such as a text message, a phone call, or a mutual friend catching the cheating spouse with the other person. Most cases that are filed due to adultery involve circumstantial evidence and this is generally enough to file for divorce as long as the cheating spouse is proven to have both the disposition and the opportunity to commit the act. Both are relatively easy to assert and very little proof is needed for it to be accepted as viable. If the complainant actually caught the cheating spouse in the act, there's nothing left to prove. If it was the aforementioned mutual friend who caught the affair in progress or saw evidence of it, then that person will have to testify as to what he or she saw. It is not necessary to hire a private detective in most cases, although that can help prove or disprove suspicions that adultery is being committed. Very simply, if the cheating spouse and another person were seen engaging in acts like hugging, kissing, hand-holding and other acts that are clearly of a romantic nature, then that is sufficient.

Other Factors In A Divorce Due To Adultery

In certain instances, the complainant might name the person with whom the spouse is allegedly committing adultery with as a co-respondent. This is a risky decision and the co-respondent has the right to hire legal representation to answer the charges. It could be a mistake given the potential of a person being wrongly accused. If adultery was committed and there is sufficient proof that it was committed, it may in certain instance adversely affect the cheating spouse if he or she hopes to win custody of children born of the marriage.

Contact An Experienced NJ Divorce Attorney

If you or a loved one are considering filing for divorce in Brick Township, Toms River, Jackson or Point Pleasant or any other town in New Jersey due to adultery on the part of your husband or wife, it is imperative that you speak to an experienced attorney from the Law Firm of Villani & DeLuca, P.C. in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey. Adultery is an emotional, hurtful occurrence and if it is true, then filing for divorce is, in many cases, the logical option. But there are other factors to consider such as children and the consequences for naming a person as the paramour without tangible proof that it is true. Sometimes it's preferable to simply file for a “no-fault” divorce and end the marriage rather than have an extended court battle over adultery with the reason for the marriage's end being known to all. Other times, it is necessary to bring out every piece of evidence and point out that adultery was committed.

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Whether you are from Monmouth County, Ocean County or anywhere else in New Jersey, the attorneys at Villani & DeLuca, P.C. can help you with obtaining a divorce as a result of Adultery. Call 732-751-4991 today!

Vincent DeLuca, Esq.

As a founding partner at Villani & DeLuca, Vincent DeLuca is one of only a few Certified Matrimonial Law Attorney in Ocean County, New Jersey. Mr. DeLuca has helped many clients navigate the delicate details of their own divorce. Mr. DeLuca is also a trained divorce mediator and collaborative divorce attorney. Call today at (732) 751-4991 to speak to Mr. DeLuca or one of our experienced NJ Divorce Lawyers.