Mark Ashton, a partner in our Exton (Chester County), Pennsylvania office and the editor of our Pennsylvania Family Law Blog, wrote an excellent post entitled “I Want You To Show How Awful She Is”, on that blog.
To read the full post, click here.
NJ allows people to seek a divorce on both fault and no fault grounds. The fault only gets someone a divorce. Moreover, even before irreconcilable differences was added as a no fault cause of action a few years ago, and we often proceeded on “extreme cruelty” grounds, no one, other than the litigant’s cared about the cause of action. In fact, at the final hearing, when a party testified about the cause of action, the typical questions were to ask whether the contents of the complaint were true, if you had to testify about them on that day, whether your testimony would be substantially the same, and whether it was unreasonable and improper to require the people remain married.
Moreover, as noted in prior posts, the Supreme Court confirmed in Mani v. Mani that fault does not matter in divorce cases except in extreme cases (i.e. the attempted murder of a spouse.) That said, like Mark noted in his post, if marital assets were used to further the affair, those assets can be recovered.
Character does not matter as much as credibility, which is more often affected by someone’s conduct during the litigation or just before it if there was divorce planning, than who they had an affair with or how they treated their spouse during the marriage.