The glass isn’t half full or half empty. When men and women in a committed relationship fail to remain faithful to their spouse or partner dysfunction sets in. Emotions flair, trust is shattered and life for both parties becomes mentally and physically disabling. How you define cheating determines how you respond to cheating. Internet pornography, sexting and phone sex between consenting adults is considered cheating by many, however states differ on the legality, and prosecution of such cases is a rarity.  Under the law in most states, adultery –  voluntary sexual relations between an individual who is married and someone who is not the individuals spouse, is a crime. In many states a single act of adultery constitutes a crime.

The internet is full of ways, tricks and tactics to confirm a cheating spouse, most of which can destroy a marriage if there is no cheating. When the website Ashley Madison was hacked and Oklahoma users exposed, they were surprised to find according to the Oklahoma Courts Network; ”Any person guilty of the crime of adultery shall be guilty of a felony and punished by imprisonment in the state penitentiary not exceeding five years, and fined $500.00”. Most states treat adultery as a crime against marriage, subject to religious ramifications as well as being grounds for divorce. In all cases, the extra-marital affair must be proved in court. If you suspect your spouse is cheating yet you have no proof, infidelity is more easily proven and does not require sexual relations to exist. Though not a crime in most states, infidelity such as flirting, emotional affairs and emotional abandonment have been used as grounds for divorce.

Securing the prescribed types of evidence is the most effective way of proving a spouse is cheating – love can be blind. Tangible proof such as phone records, emails, receipts and photographs can be used as evidence. Cheaters often share their activities with a friend or family member. Confronting a spouse in the presence of someone who can confirm their adultery is another form of indisputable evidence. Psychologist and Family Counselors suggest counseling as the most effective way to confirm or refute speculations. Others suggest talking directly to your spouse and hoping he/she will be truthful.

Most of us know someone who chose to overlook their spouse’s infidelity for the sake of the children, social connections, economics job, finances or image. If you think you spouse is cheating on you be prepared with a plan should you find your speculations are true. If you have proof, prepare yourself for any changes confrontation might spur. If he/she leaves will you be able to provide the basics for yourself, your children and any family members in the home. Will separation lead to you being forced from the home, will it affect employment or will employment be needed; will it affect school, childcare, lifestyle and commitments. People cheat for many reasons. Technology has made it easy to introduce infidelity into one’s life. Lifestyles, children, jobs, politics, social requirements and the illness or frigidity of a spouse can lead to a man or woman being unfaithful. Depression, anxiety, behavioral disorders and mental illness can also lead to adultery.

If adultery is suspected an attorney can explain divorce laws and the states laws/views on adultery and advise on the use of a private investigator. When confronting your spouse/partner consider their physical health and mental state. Be prepared to hear the truth, present concrete evidence, avoid being confrontational, have a plan when your suspicions are confirmed, know how your life and the lives of family members will be effected and talk to an attorney. If your proof or evidence of adultery – direct or circumstantial, is going to be the reason for your divorce; property, household goods, retirement accounts, insurance policies, alimony and child support can be affected. Cheating, infidelity and adultery each have a different legal definition. Knowing the difference matters. For more information or consultation contact Clue Law.

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