Questions about liability for adultery

Is Cheating A Crime?

According to Joseph Hoelscher, Managing Attorney, Hoelscher Gebbia Cepeda PLLC, cheating can be defined as one of two things. The first is detachment from the spouse without their consent, and the second is overspending on someone other than the partner without their knowledge.

So, if you’re spending your quality time with someone other than your partner and your partner is bothered by it, it could be considered cheating.

Statistics Of Divorces Due To Adultery

Adultery is said to be the cause of 25-35 percent of divorces, according to the American Psychological Association. According to the report, almost 45 percent of divorcees had several affairs. As per the infidelity statistics, nearly 40% of unmarried individuals as well as 21% of married relationships face the severe issue of cheating at least once in their lifetime. Again, the Marriage and Divorce Journal states that nearly 70% of Americans engage in affairs after marriage.

Is Cheating illegal?

Is Cheating illegal

Cheating is theoretically banned in 21 states in the United States. It is a misdemeanor in certain places, such as New York, while it is an unforgivable crime in others, such as Michigan, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, and others, and the person who commits an adultery act will be put in prison.

Adultery Laws in the US

U.S. state flags on the map

In many places, adultery is defined as the physical involvement of a married individual with someone other than their spouse. The severity of the punishment varies per state. So, globally is having an affair illegal in many parts. Here are some examples of punishments under the law of adultery:

New York

An adulterer is a person engaged in a physical relationship with someone other than his spouse. Such a person falls under the class B misdemeanor.


If a married woman gets into sexual relations with someone else other than her legal husband, both are considered guilty of adultery. It can read to 1-year imprisonment and $3000 is charged as a fine.

North Carolina

Adultery takes place between two people who lewdly and lasciviously associate, bed as well as cohabit together. If pursuing a lawsuit, it needs to be filed within the 3 years from the act of adultery. It proves a strong point for divorce as well.

South Carolina

For adultery, one has to find up to $500, along with a sentence of imprisonment for 1 year. Additionally, the divorce laws deny paying alimony to the unfaithful spouse.


In Florida, a married person who cheats on their spouse faces a penalty of up to two months in prison, plus a $500 fine.


The perfect justice example against adultery is that someone who cheats on their spouse will be sentenced to 30 days in prison and that someone special will be punished as well.


Both cheaters are sentenced to a year in prison in this state.

Is adultery common in the US?

We know that infidelity is widespread. A recent study on American couples indicates that about 20 to 40% of heterosexual married men, as well as 20 to 25% of heterosexual married women, get involved in extramarital affairs during their life period. The adultery laws vary from one country to another.

According to the data derived from the General Social Survey, it has been found that men are more intended to have extramarital affairs as compared to married women. We can say, 13% of women and 20% of men reported that they have sexual intercourse with someone else other than their partner while married.

Which are the highly adulterous states in America?

Let’s see the top 8 states where adultery is illegal:

States where you can be put behind the bars for infidelity

Adultery is illegal as of now in 21 US states. New York is one of the few states that considered infidelity a sin. Oklahoma, Massachusetts, Idaho, Michigan, and Wisconsin, among others, have set felony charges against it. Some other states are as follows:

Punishment For Adultery In The United States

 Adultery In The United States

Adultery is regarded as a crime in many jurisdictions in the United Places, even if it occurs only once; however, in some states, it is considered notorious conduct. As a result, those who commit adultery multiple times face harsher penalties than those who commit it only once whether they are a cheating husband or a cheating wife punishment is the same for both. What are the cheating wife divorce rights? Here are some of the issues regarding infidelity and divorce.

How can you prove adultery?

Yes, we know that the court demands proof of the case of infidelity divorce after affair of the partners. Unless you manage to provide substantial evidence to prove your case, it’s difficult to win.

Give proof of adultery

You can consult an advocate to guide you in gathering the required proof and evidence. It’s also quite possible that your lawyer suggests you hire a professional detective for collecting evidence that helps in adultery divorce like pictures of your spouse with his mistress, and video footage of enjoying himself in a hotel or having a dinner date.

You cannot rely solely on your gut feelings, you have to collect enough evidence to prove that your spouse is cheating on you. 

Does cheating affect the distribution of marital property?

The rule of equitable distribution of property is followed at the time of divorce. A divorce means that the court divides the marital assets fairly among both parties based on the marriage events, household contributions, employment income, and so on. But, for instance, if a married man has been continuously spending assets of their marriage on his mistress, it will be considered a misuse of the marital assets by the court. As compensation, the court will give more priority or additional property in the cheating husband divorce settlement to the faithful wife.

Can you go behind the bars for infidelity?

Is infidelity illegal? Well, many countries and states do not consider adultery a crime. However, in the US, it is considered a grave crime and as a punishment, both the offenders have to pay a huge penalty for adultery – huge amounts of fine and spend 1 year behind the bars.

Can infidelity affect alimony?

When it comes to alimony, it depends on the adultery charges and level of offense. However, it is not a considering factor when dividing the property of the couple. 

In case, you believe that your spouse should not receive anything because of his unfaithful behavior, you need to gather enough evidence to prove your statement. It includes credit cards, phone calls, bank statements, and much more. These will serve as evidence in a court of law to prove your spouse’s unfaithful activities.  

It can be quite difficult to prove in court. So, it’s always best to consult with a family attorney lawyer in your locality to discuss the adultery situation and how it’s possible to prove it in court. 

If you are considering getting a divorce, alimony (also known as spousal support) is a situation that you should know about.

Often, it is found that one partner in a marriage becomes financially dependent on another. However, in some marriages, we get to see both partners are working, but still, division of labor is a big factor. We get to see, that one spouse is more responsible for taking care of their children and managing the household, while the other is responsible for earning.  

The alimony has nothing to do with cheating. However, if you think that you need more alimony due to certain reasons, you need to prove the reason in court. Suppose, in case you get child custody, certainly, you can demand more amount for raising your child. You can ask the court to arrange extra money for raising your child. Under certain circumstances, the court arranges more alimony for the faithful partner. 

Prenup Cheating Clause

prenuptial agreement

Most marriage agreements do not contain anything related to cheating or abuse. These agreements come with provisions on property divisions and sometimes about spousal support in the case of divorce after infidelity. Usually, marriage agreements can include the infertility clause, but the consequences should be weighed carefully. Both parties can remain open to litigation if one simply believes that the other party was unfaithful. The basic definitions should be considered. If the infidelity in marriage law ensures protection for your finances on the occasion of a divorce case, it will be very helpful to include adultery clauses in your prenuptial agreement as well.

What is the role of a Judge?

the role of the judge in determining the penalty for treason

While deciding on the divorce case, the judge will ensure that the faithful partner is compensated with additional property and money as compared to the unfaithful spouse. Also, the court will check how cheating will affect the custody of the child before deciding on the time-sharing, child custody, and other related decisions. 

Can cheating divorce affect the custody of your child?

In the US, the court always looks for the best interest of the child while determining custody. The mental fitness of the parents is given the foremost priority while determining custody. However, a spouse can bring up the argument that the other partner is morally less fit. So, it could affect the custody amount that a parent is granted by the court in the divorce.

Is it possible to stop a spouse from committing adultery?

Stop your spouse from cheating - show your love

It is a big question, how is it possible to stop someone from committing adultery. Well, frankly speaking, it is never possible. But, with certain actions, it is possible to understand that a person is involved in an act of adultery. When a person is involved in such an activity, he will become more concerned about his dress up and looks. He will start spending extra time on grooming and even spend tons on branded clothes to appear more presentable. 

Social Media Tracking

When your gut feeling says that your spouse is up to something; don’t completely ignore it. We know trust and faith cannot be overlooked in a relationship, but at the same time, your gut feeling should not be overlooked. It’s important to take action according to your instincts. If you feel that your partner is cheating on you, check out his social media accounts.

If you see there is a change in the passwords recently in his Instagram, Facebook and other social media networking accounts that you are entirely unaware of, it’s a sure shot that he is up to something.

Keep an eye on your spouse's social media

You can also keep an observance on the posts because it can help you to track his whereabouts. It includes check-in posts, pictures and videos, and much more. 

Keeping a track of social media nowadays can help you a lot to gather much-needed clues about a person! 

Observe the change in behavior and appearance

It’s important to observe the behavior of your spouse because when it comes to cheating, physiology says that a change in the behavioral pattern can be observed. 

If your wife cheats on you, she starts to look better

If your wife is cheating on you, she will feel less attracted to you and will show less interest in spending time with you. You will find her spending most of the time over the phone. 

A cheating spouse will never share the password of his/her phone with you and will cling to the phone like anything else.

Also, your cheating spouse will stop sharing his secrets with you any longer and will show irritation in almost everything that he once used to cherish.

Install a Spy App on your spouses’ phone

You can effortlessly track your spouse’s phone actions with any spy app. You can record their chat conversation, exchange media files, SMS, phone records, and other information with them. It works so quietly that your partner will never notice it on their phone.

You can install a spy app on your wife’s or husband’s phone with the help of a professional. There are numerous applications available for spying. You can directly Google about such apps. Some free apps include Spyic, Spyier, Spyine, and Cocospy. For better supervision, you can even buy the premium version that comes with much more facilities. 

Adultery and divorce – What is the role of a divorce lawyer?

A divorce lawyer generally spends a lot of time communicating with his clients to fetch information about the case and undergo paperwork that he needs to draft and file in court. Plus, the attorney should discuss the hearing results of the court as well as strategies for the following steps. As we know, emotions are involved in divorce cases, communication becomes quite protracted with clients.

What a lawyer does for a broken home

Divorce lawyers need to become adept at managing and scheduling meetings with their clients. Such meetings often take place over the phone and in person. The role of a divorce lawyer is to gather information to strengthen the case, collect evidence, offer expert advice, give moral support, save your money and help you with the alimony.


Is Adultery Against The Law?

Adultery is considered a sin and is against the law. Special adultery laws have been designed to protect marriages, prevent the birth of illegitimate children and avoid sexually transmitted diseases.

What States Is Adultery a Crime?

Adultery is not considered legal in the states of Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Massachusetts, Missouri, Georgia, Mississippi, Indiana, Arizona, Maryland, Illinois, Michigan, Idaho, New York, Wisconsin, Kansas, and South Carolina.

If Your Spouse Cheats What Happens In Divorce?

When your spouse cheats in a marriage, you can immediately file a divorce case against him/her. You can even take the help of a lawyer to sue his mistress or the person with whom he is having an affair.

Is It Illegal To Have An Affair?

Technically speaking, adultery is illegal in almost 21 states in the US. New York is one such state that considers it a sin and few of the states even have felony charges for the same.

What happens when a spouse cheats in a divorce?

Does infidelity affect divorce? In the US, you can go ahead and file a divorce case when your spouse shows an act of infidelity. There are “no-fault divorces exist”, which means that you can file for divorce even if you are just unhappy in your marriage. There is any specific reason for filing a divorce case. There is no threat to security if you file for divorce on the grounds of cheating. However, in some cases, we have seen that the offended spouse often files for the custody of children, more assets, or increased alimony. For instance, if you can prove that your spouse’s cheating leads to depletion or neglect of material finances, the offended party can file for the petition of asset division and possibly want to retain the sole custody of the children.

Where Is Adultery Illegal?

Adultery is still banned in some countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Algeria, Egypt, some US states, Morocco, the Republic of Congo, Iran, Indonesia, and others. While it is considered a scandalous behavior in some states, it is one of the leading causes of divorce.

Can You Sue Someone For Cheating?

It is possible to sue someone in court for cheating. If you are in a married relationship and you get proof of your spouse cheating on you, directly you can file a case against him with the assistance of a lawyer. Also, you should be ready for the consequences because you will have to face severe problems from the lawyer of your cheating spouse. It’s better if you file a case against your cheating husband or wife with the support of a lawyer because it’s quite possible otherwise that lawyer of your unfaithful partner gets you into their trap.

Does Cheating Affect Divorce Settlement?

In the US, cheating does not affect the spouse from getting alimony support. A dependent spouse can have a one-night stand or even get into a full-fledged affair, it will not eliminate or reduce his ability for receiving alimony. The lower-earning spouse receives support from the higher running spouse and cheating has nothing to do with it.

Should I Admit To Adultery In Divorce?

You cannot just use your adultery as the reason to get a divorce from your spouse. Adultery can be used as the weapon of divorce when your spouse is involved in it. When you admit to committing adultery, you will get less than the usual amount in the divorce.
It is possible to use adultery as one of the reasons for taking divorce from your partner, provided you can demonstrate that he or she had consensual sexual intercourse with the opposite gender. As a petitioner, you even need to prove that it has become intolerable to continue the relationship with the person any longer. 

My Husband Is Having An Affair, What Are My Legal Rights?

If your husband is having an affair with someone, and he is involved physically with some other person, you can file a divorce case against your cheating partner. You can immediately help a professional lawyer. A divorce lawyer can guide you in understanding the alimony and settlements.
US court demands evidence to prove your case right, your gut feelings alone are not enough. Some proof of the affair is important to produce in front of the court to get a divorce from your cheating husband. Circumstantial evidence can be used like phone records, text messages bank statements, credit cards, emails, photos as well as footage. If cheating occurs after you file the divorce case, it can be used to support your adultery claim.

Can You Be Fired For Committing Adultery?

Workplace discrimination is not based on marital status. Federal law in the US does not judge individuals in their workplace for having extramarital affairs. If someone is fired for having an extra medical affair, he can file a case against the company. Spousal cheating or abuse does not make a prenup invalid or void unless there is something specifically mentioned in it. Most partition or prenuptial agreements do not state anything about cheating or abuse.
Irrespective of gender, sexting is considered to be a form of marital infidelity or adultery by a majority of people. However, there is a bit of a disparity in the viewpoint of both genders. Nearly 75% or three-fourths of women think that sexting constitutes cheating or adultery.