In most cases, adultery destroys a marriage. Few things ruin the trust necessary for a relationship like a cheating spouse. It may be a symptom of other issues, or it may be the proverbial last straw. Regardless, the question we so often hear next is, “How does cheating impact my divorce?” As is usually the case, there’s a short answer and a much longer one.
Our founding partner, Rick Jones, makes regular appearances on the Danny Bonaduce and Sarah Morning Show on KZOK, where he answers listener questions about family law matters. One recent caller finds himself in this unfortunate situation. He wants to know how to get the divorce ball rolling.
Check out the Question Below:
Caller: “So I’ve been married for about two years and my wife recently admitted she cheated on me. I was curious about the first steps to my divorce would be?”
Danny: “You’re going to hate this.”
Rick: “I think what you’re wanting to hear is, or what everybody should learn at least–and this isn’t necessarily your question–but Washington is what’s called a no-fault state. So the fact that she has stepped outside of her marriage and obviously not lived up to her vows does not result in any necessary harm to her, it doesn’t mean you get a better deal.”
Danny: “I hate this so much. Yet I was the cheater, so I’m kinda glad. But Rick’s telling the truth man. You don’t get any more or less because someone is a cheater and a liar.”
Rick: “That’s right. Now the question is though, it obviously sounds like you’ve processed this and said, “I’m done.” So to answer your question on where you start, there’s a couple of ways to go about it.
“Obviously a case needs to be filed, so you need to start the process. You don’t need to have a settlement prior to starting this, so start the clock ticking.
“A divorce in Washington takes 90 days. Even if you do come to an agreement right away, it takes 90 days at minimum. It could take upwards of a year if there are contested issues that you guys can’t agree to right away.”
What Are The Steps?
Rick: “So the first step is to get a case filed. What you really probably want to do though is pick up the phone and call my office, or frankly anybody else, and give them a little bit of background. ‘We’ve been married two years. We have kids or we don’t. Here’s what we’ve accumulated. Tell me what this is like, what’s it going to be like for me.’ That way you’re in a position to be more educated about the various decisions and options you’ve got coming up.”
Danny: “Joe, is there any chance you could work this out?”
Caller: “No, we’ve been falling apart for about a year now. So this is kind of a long time coming.”
Danny: “All right, you’ve heard from the expert himself. It doesn’t matter to the court who did what, just run right out and get a lawyer, and start protecting your assets.”
Related Reading: How Much Does Divorce Cost In Washington State