How might adultery impact your divorce?

Griffin Law, PLLC
Jan 11, 2023

Adultery is often the reason for a marriage to end. Unfortunately, some humans have a tendency not to be loyal to partners.

If you have proof of an affair, you may be able to use it as leverage in your divorce. You might be able to get a better settlement or claim damages due to the situation in court. But you also could take this to the criminal system because adultery is a crime in North Carolina.


Adultery under the law in North Carolina is illegal. It is a misdemeanor. The law actually states it is a crime for two people who are not married to live as a married couple and have sexual relations. Under this law, you would need to prove your spouse not only slept with someone else but acted as husband and wife with that person.


A class two misdemeanor carries the potential of a fine of up to $1,000. It also could result in up to 60 days in jail. Plus, it puts a black mark on the person’s criminal background.

Using in a divorce

In a divorce situation, you would need to show that the adulterous act led to the end of your married relationship. You also could seek damages for alienation of affection due to the affair.

Keep in mind that the divorce court will not hear criminal matters, so you would need to pursue this outside of the divorce. But it could impact your divorce if you get a conviction as you can show why your marriage broke down. It could be beneficial when creating your divorce settlement and give you leverage for spousal support.

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