How Does Adultery Affect Divorce in Hoffman Estates?
In April of 2019, daytime talk show host Wendy Williams filed for divorce from her husband, Kevin Hunter. During the divorce proceedings, Hunter requested a substantial amount in spousal support, as well as child support for the couple’s 18-year-old son, Kevin Junior. Hunter relied on his job as executive producer on Williams’ show for an income, and he was also her personal manager. Now, after being fired from both jobs, he has no source of income.
This case is interesting, raising several questions. One significant issue involves Williams’ claim that she should not have to pay spousal support because Hunter cheated on her. Those who are divorcing in Illinois may wonder how the state’s laws would address these issues. Does adultery affect the terms of a divorce?
Adultery as Grounds for Divorce
In Illinois, the only grounds for divorce is “irreconcilable differences.” This simply means that there has been a breakdown in the marriage and that there is no hope that the couple will reconcile. This is different than how divorce worked in Illinois historically, as previously, there was once a long list of grounds for divorce, including adultery.
When both spouses agree to irreconcilable differences and consent to the divorce, those irreconcilable differences typically do not need to be proven. However, when one spouse objects to the divorce, the other spouse may raise the issue of adultery and state that this is the reason the marriage is beyond repair.
Adultery and Maintenance
In Illinois, spousal support or alimony is known as spousal maintenance. Illinois has some guidelines judges follow when making a decision about whether to award maintenance. However, adultery is not one of them. While a spouse that has been cheated on may think they deserve more from the other spouse in the divorce, the law does not see it that way.
When determining whether to award maintenance, a judge will consider many factors. One is each spouse’s ability to provide for their own expenses, and their level of education and job skill-set may be considered to determine the income that they should be able to earn. If a spouse asking for maintenance has a good job and will be able to live a fairly similar lifestyle after the divorce, a judge will likely not award maintenance.
If maintenance is awarded, adultery is also not considered when determining an amount. The law provides guidelines for calculating the amount of payments using the net income earned by each spouse. The duration that payments will last will be based on the length of time the couple was married.
Call an Arlington Heights Divorce Lawyer
After a spouse has committed adultery during the course of a marriage, the other spouse naturally may feel angry and betrayed. However, while this issue may have led to divorce, it has very little to do with the actual legal proceedings involved in dissolving the marriage. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the end of a marriage, an experienced lawyer can help anyone going through divorce get the most favorable terms possible.
If you are considering divorce or are going through the divorce process, call dedicated Barrington family law attorney Nicholas W. Richardson at 847.873.6741. He will work with you to complete the divorce process quickly and efficiently, allowing you to move on with your life. Do not try to go through this difficult time on your own. Call us today for your free consultation.