If you file a petition to end your marriage in a Minnesota court, you might simply state that there are irresolvable differences between you and your spouse that prevent you from being able to restore your marital relationship. On the other hand, you may have a legitimate reason for filing an at-fault divorce, such as adultery. It is critical to build a solid case because there are several ways your spouse might contest the fault you have attributed to him or her.
Understanding the defense options that may be available in an at-fault divorce based on adultery allegations enables you to closely review your own case and determine whether this is the best way to proceed or whether it might be better to file your divorce petition under a different status.
Many spouses deny culpability for at-fault divorce
Any of the following defenses may be relevant to a divorce case that is based on fault:
- If your spouse uses condonation as a defense in an at-fault divorce that includes adultery accusations, it means that he or she is claiming that you were aware of the affair, that you offered forgiveness and restored your marital relationship.
- Recrimination means that your spouse would be claiming that you also had an extramarital affair leading up to your divorce.
- Connivance is also a defense strategy in a divorce where a spouse is accused of adultery, meaning that the accused spouse would claim that the accusing spouse intentionally enticed someone to seduce his or her partner or that the accusing spouse knew about and took part in sexual activities with a third party.
If you are the one making accusations about adultery in a no-fault divorce, you’ll want to be certain that you have evidence (such as witnesses or testimony from a private investigator) to substantiate your allegations.
Fault versus no-fault divorce
Before you file a divorce petition in Minnesota, it is always best to carefully review state laws and to determine which course of action best fits your needs and ultimate settlement goals. Every case is unique, which means that what is best for your friend or a family member might not be an effective option in your situation.
Relying on guidance from someone who has experience in at-fault versus no-fault divorce may help you avoid complications and achieve a swift and fair settlement in the least stressful manner possible. If you plan to formally accuse your spouse of adultery, you will want to be well-prepared with evidence, documentation, witnesses and any other evidence that can help you gain a favorable ruling in court.