If my wife is dating someone can I use that against her in divorce court?

Dear Liz,
My wife and I are getting a divorce and I just found out she is seeing someone; can I use that information to my advantage?
Seething Soon-To-Be-Ex

WHOA NELLY. First of all, this sounds like a straight up awful place to be in, so I am sorry to read about your stressful revelation. I once heard about this divorced lady in Arizona (or some place out West) who caught her husband cheating so she divorced him, took all his money, and opened a business where clients can book a room filled with glass. They wear safety gear, grab a sledgehammer, and smash their way through the place. Apparently, it is very cathartic. I’d say this might be a good vacation idea for you when your divorce is final.

As to your question, I’m going to let my pal Amy tackle this one since divorce law is sort of her thing. Best of luck!

Here is what Amy had to say:

First of all, if your reader or his or her spouse is seeing someone, your reader should tell his or her lawyer. Many times our own clients are seeing someone and we learn about it from opposing counsel. Gah!

Maine is a no-fault divorce state. Most folks are divorced on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. Neither party has to prove fault or prove the existence of marital differences or establish why the differences are irreconcilable. No one will determine whether the reason for the divorce is acceptable or not. Having said that, adultery is a ground of divorce. Generally, it gets one nowhere.

In Maine, there are many factors that go into the court’s decision as to how to distribute marital assets and debts between the parties. The overriding standard is that the division be equitable, or fair. In making that determination, the court does not consider fault in the dissolution of the marriage. However, if the cheating spouse has spent a lot of marital monies on his/her paramour, the court could compensate the other spouse with more marital assets. Or the court could award spousal support to the wronged spouse as compensation.

My experience, though, is that, unless egregious, the courts do not care about adultery.

Good luck to you, Seething Soon-To-Be-Ex!

~ Liz