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Infidelity can impact property division in Missouri

Even though Missouri strives to equally divide marital assets regardless of why a couple is seeking a divorce, infidelity can still impact how that divorce unfolds and the time it takes to finalize a divorce agreement. The recent hacking of a website promoting infidelity has brought to light just how prevalent infidelity or the desire to be unfaithful may be. In Missouri, when a judge works to ensure property division is done equitably, the ripple effect of infidelity can impact that property division settlement.

One way infidelity can matter is if one party used marital funds to finance the affair. This may include the monthly cost of belonging to such a website or the cost of expensive gifts given to a person with whom the spouse is having an affair. If shared accounts or martial funds were used, the other party may seek to be compensated for the lost shared funds.

Cheating in of itself has no bearing on child custody. However, the effects on one's reputation may affect that person's ability to seek custody if certain embarrassing aspects of infidelity are likely to be exposed. As with any personal reason for a split, the lasting emotional impact can affect how each party acts during a divorce and what each party considers fair even when it comes to child custody issues.

The property division process can be complex regardless of underlying issues such as infidelity and its emotional and financial toll. The Missouri court system will strive to consider any fair settlement, and negotiations may be needed to help the process along. If negotiations are not productive and a couple needs litigation to resolve property division related to infidelity, the cost and timeline for a divorce may be adversely affected.

Source: forbes.com, "How Your Spouse's Ashley Madison Account Can Impact Your Divorce", Emma Johnson, Aug. 21, 2015

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