Does Infidelity Matter in Wisconsin Divorces?

Does infidelity matter in Wisconsin divorces? This is a question that continues to be asked by many separated or soon-to-be divorcees. Karp & Iancu, S.C. is a seasoned and reputable law firm that specializes in divorce proceedings in Milwaukee. From property and financial allocation to custody of children, they protect the legal rights of all their new and existing clients. Divorces are never easy for any couple—especially when infidelity is involved. However, does cheating or adultery have an impact on divorces in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin Law on Adultery

Infidelity or adultery is considered a Class 1 Felony in Wisconsin law. In fact, if a person is married, but chooses to have sexual intercourse with anyone other than his/her spouse, it is punishable under Wisconsin statute 944.16. Similarly, both the wife and husband can be found guilty if they had extramarital affairs. As a result, infidelity heavily contributes to divorce proceedings, as well as legal separations in the state. Fines can be assessed for up to ten thousand dollars or even three and a half years of imprisonment.

Burden of Proof

Most divorces in Wisconsin—and across the nation—are based around infidelity. In fact, many families get affected, especially couples with children. From emotional duress and anxiety to depression, couples dealing with overwhelming stress due to divorces must have strong legal representatives. With years of extensive legal experience, divorce attorneys have the tools and expertise to defend and represent your rights in these cases.

While Wisconsin recognizes, mandates, and governs the law of infidelity in the state, the burden of proof lies with couples wishing to secure restitution for damages incurred. Similarly, it will be up to the judge or a jury of peers to determine property and financial allocations in divorces. This includes any prenuptial agreements, as well as shared finances, bills, insurance policies, children’s funds, investments, business, etc.

How Solid Is the Infidelity Law in Wisconsin?

Both parties in a divorce can be found guilty of infidelity if it’s proven in a court of law. However, what is the status of the law in terms of common law marriages? These are essentially couples that live together but are not officially married. Similarly, these couples may have fallen out of love, and went on to pursue relations with other consenting adults. With this in mind, does this fall under infidelity or adultery? It’s questions like these that require attorneys to help you navigate the sometimes-murky divorce laws in the state.

Despite the confusions at times, there is one constant that remains the same. That is, of course, that Wisconsin does not condone sexual activities that fall outside of the sacred institution of marriage. However, this means that adults must be legally married in order to divorce, which does not apply to common-law couples that are separated but seeking damages against each other.

Evidence is Essential

Prosecutions in divorce cases are not as prevalent as other types of cases in Wisconsin. This is due to the factors involved, as well as evidence gathered by prosecuting attorneys and law enforcement. For one, most couples tend to spy on each other if infidelity is suspected. With this in mind, a spouse that is caught having sexual intercourse can claim that he or she was separated from their spouse at the time. This can result in counter lawsuits during divorce proceedings, which can be extremely time-consuming and sticky at best.

Unless a signed confession or clear video is present, there really is no way to prosecute an adulterer in the state. However, the proof building will be on the part of the attorney and the wife or husband he or she defends in a court of law. Therefore, evidence collection of e-mails, photos, video, text messages, telephone logs, or anything pertaining to your case can only help.