If you are currently working through the divorce or considering ending your marriage in the near future, it is in your best interest to avoid entering a new relationship until your divorce is finalized. This is because even if you feel your relationship with your spouse is over, your marriage is not over until the divorce process is complete. Dating before your divorce is complete is committing adultery, which can affect your spousal maintenance, property division, and child custody agreements.
Remarrying after your divorce can also affect your divorce settlement. If you are receiving alimony, marrying a new partner will end this payment. Living with a new partner can also affect your alimony payments. This is because moving in with a partner significantly changes your financial circumstances, often providing you with greater buying power and assets.
Your child custody or visitation agreement can be affected if your new partner poses a threat to your child’s health or safety in any way. For example, if your new partner has a substance addiction or regularly engages in dangerous behavior, the court may be more likely to give your former spouse primary custody or reduce your visitation time.
In New Jersey, property is divided according to the equitable distribution principle, which means that your property is divided according to each partner’s financial and other needs, contribution to the marriage’s total asset pool, use of shared assets, and the length of the marriage. If you spent shared money on your adulterous partner during your affair, the court may consider this to be a misuse of marital funds and reduce your share of the property accordingly.
In cases where the adulterous partner did not spend a significant amount of money on his or her lover or where the money did not come from the couple’s shared asset pool, the court will not consider the extramarital relationship when dividing the couple’s property.
Just like with your property division agreement, if the court finds you have spent a significant amount of shared money on your partner during your affair, it may consider this when determining an appropriate amount of spousal maintenance for you to receive or to pay to your former spouse.
Contact The Law Office of Eric B. Hannum Esq., LLC. today at (732) 365-3299 or on the web to schedule your initial legal consultation with our firm. We can provide you with expert legal counsel and representation as you work through your divorce. We serve clients in Monmouth, Mercer, Ocean, and Burlington counties. Let us give your case the compassionate, driven legal handling it deserves.