Country singer Jason Aldean and his high school sweetheart, Jessica Ussery, are getting divorced after 12 years of marriage. A public photograph of Aldean showed that he got intimate with “American Idol” contestant, Brittany Kerr, at a bar. Shortly after, he put out a public apology and worked on his marriage with Ussery. They even walked the red carpet together a couple months after his affair. Unfortunately, their marriage did not get much better and Aldean filed for divorce under irreconcilable differences in a Williamson County, Tenn. court.
Infidelity can greatly affect a divorce case depending how you approach it. Katherine Eisold Miller, a collaborative lawyer and family mediator, explains important factors of an extra-marital relationship that can change the course of the divorce. In the United States, adultery does not have much impact on the distribution of assets unless the cheating spouse uses his/her marital assets to support the extra-marital relationship. Furthermore, adultery will not impact child custody as long as the children were not exposed to the extra-marital relationship during the affair. Even if the affair did not affect your children in its course, if the affair is a result of the straying spouse transmitting a STD to his/her spouse, it is considered a personal injury called interspousal tort.
Out of all the problematic outcomes that can result from an affair, the biggest influence adultery can have on a divorce is in the negotiation of settlement. Statistically, divorce cases are likely to be settled. The best way to get what you want out of your divorce settlement is to prepare your emotions. Your emotions play a big role in your negotiation and can drastically change the course of your settlement terms. It is best to allow your family law attorney to guide you through your divorce as calmly as possible.