Divorce lawyers in Brooklyn and other boroughs of NYC will tell you – marriages are best kept between two people. Third one is a liability.
It is a common saying that “two souls become one” after marriage. What happens when a spouse brings a third party into the marriage? While New York is a no-fault divorce state, it is highly advised that you do not bring a third party into the marriage, for practical and legal reasons. As on of the divorce lawyers in Brooklyn and other boroughs who has been divorced due to my ex-husband’s infidelity, I understand the sensitive and legal issues that arise from this controversial topic. Divorce lawyers in Brooklyn and all other boroughs of NYC see on a regular basis that parties in a divorce are involved in relationships outside their marriage. Bringing a third person (or “paramour”) into the marriage is oftentimes the reason the other spouse seeks a divorce. It is also common for one spouse to begin dating a new paramour before the divorce is finalized.
While adultery will not give the victim spouse a better claim on custody, assets or in the divorce generally, there are some practical reasons for avoiding an affair. One practical reason is the victim spouse will be emotionally damaged and will behave irrationally. Divorce lawyers in Brooklyn and all other boroughs will tell you that this leads to a more contested and litigious divorce- as many people cannot separate their personal anger and spite. Instead of being practical and settling the divorce, the hurt spouse will want to continue to fight. The most common result is that more attorneys’ fees will be spent by both sides because of one party’s spite.
One legal reason to avoid affairs is the Courts are allowed to look at “marital waste” of people’s assets. If you spend any portion of marital funds on a paramour, the Court is allowed to credit the spouse with half the portion of the money spent on a third party. This again would involve additional attorney fees to review financial records and reconcile any missing funds. If someone begins dating a new person in a divorce that involves children, many courts will order that the children are not to be introduced to the paramour until custody has been resolved. Exposing children to a new paramour who may be a temporary partner could cause confusion for the children. And of course, there may also be negative feelings from the other spouse. If you are a litigant in a new relationship, it is best to be discreet, and wait until the relationship becomes serious (if the other party becomes a fiancee) before introducing children.
By Beatrice Leong, Esq.