Jesse James, Tiger Woods, Senator John Edwards – what do they all have in common? 

        Accusations of adultery make the headlines but what does it mean in a divorce?  Generally, in New Jersey adultery is sexual intercourse between a married person and a person not the husband or wife of that person.  In New Jersey, you don’t get a divorce just because you want one.  You have to allege and prove one of the grounds for divorce.  Adultery is one of several grounds for divorce.  If you can prove that adultery occurred, you will be entitled to a divorce.  However, for the most part, proving adultery as opposed to any of the other grounds for divorce will probably not affect the finances in the divorce when it comes to alimony and equitable distribution.  In New Jersey, when it comes to alimony, the Court is to consider approximately 9 factors and any other facts relevant to the particular case.  None of the 9 factors consist of proving adultery.  In New Jersey, the statute for the equitable distribution of property lists approximately 14 factors and the last item is any other factor relevant to the particular case.  Again, none of the 14 factors consist of proving adultery.  Even when it comes to custody, assuming the adultery was discreet, alleging a ground for adultery may not necessarily affect custody.  While adultery is a factor to be considered, it does not automatically entitle one to receive more alimony or pay less alimony or to receive a greater or lesser amount of the distribution of the assets acquired during the marriage unless of course a pre-nuptial agreement provides otherwise.  Depending on the facts in the case, adultery may not even affect custody. 

        You can learn how adultery affects your case by calling us at (908) 879‑9499.