It’s no secret that a large percentage of marriages are broken up because of infidelity and financial problems. If your marriage has unraveled because one of you cheated, you may be wondering if adultery impacts a spouse’s right to receive maintenance, which other states sometimes call “alimony” or “spousal support.” This is a valid question indeed.
In the United States, we have “no-fault” divorce states and “mixed states.” No-fault divorce states let spouses file for divorce simply due to irreconcilable differences, and usually, no-fault states are not concerned with marital misconduct, unless it involves domestic violence or wasteful dissipation of marital assets, which refers to the process of intentionally squandering marital assets so the money is not split with the other spouse in a divorce.
In contrast, mixed states let spouses file for divorce on fault or no-fault grounds. As such, one of the most common fault-based grounds for divorce is adultery. But alas, Kentucky is a no-fault divorce state.
Kentucky is a No-Fault Divorce State
As a no-fault divorce state, family court judges in Kentucky usually have no interest in hearing about a cheating spouse’s misconduct. Meaning, infidelity alone is not enough to deny a spouse maintenance or alimony if he or she is otherwise entitled to it.
Is adultery a crime in Kentucky?
The short answer to this question is no. Adultery is not a crime in Kentucky. Because Kentucky is a no-fault divorce state, cheating doesn’t automatically entitle one spouse to a “better” divorce settlement or additional support / maintenance, either. As a no-fault state, Kentucky law does not require anyone to be responsible for the failure of the marriage, only that it is “irretrievably broken.”
However, judges are interested in hearing if a cheating spouse wasted marital assets on a paramour or on something frivolous for themselves; for example, if a cheating husband spent $10,000 (marital assets) on his girlfriend’s plastic surgery, or if a spiteful wife maxed out the couple’s credit cards at Tiffany’s so she could fill her jewelry box.
When a spouse wastes marital assets on a romantic partner, or on lavish items for themselves they don’t need, etc., it can affect the property division or the amount of maintenance.