Identifying and Proving That a Spouse is Cheating

In Separation & Divorce by Christopher R. Hicks


When you feel in your gut that your spouse has cheated on you, you may have a natural inclination to seek out justice, such as putting them on blast in court. Before you speak with a family law attorney, it is worth your while to know that there are limited circumstances in which infidelity actually arises as a legal issue when a marriage ends.

North Carolina is an absolute divorce state, which is a no-fault type of divorce that requires a court to enter a divorce order if they have been separated for at least 12 consecutive months. A no-fault divorce means that the reasons behind the divorce (like infidelity) are completely irrelevant to the court. Instead, “illicit sexual behavior” is a consideration when it comes to alimony.

In fact, the stakes are high when it comes to proving that illicit sexual behavior occurred, as a dependent spouse is entitled to alimony if the supporting spouse is found to have engaged in the conduct. And on the flip side, a dependent spouse may not receive alimony if the supporting spouse can prove that the dependent spouse cheated.

Proving Infidelity

Your gut feeling is not evidence. Courts have strict rules of evidence, which requires testimony or documents to be “admissible” as evidence. Otherwise, a court cannot consider it. When it comes to a cheating spouse, you can help your attorney to track down the following information.

  1. If you caught your spouse cheating, or if your spouse admitted to cheating, then you should write down the dates and details of what you saw or what was said.
  2. Identify witnesses who have “direct knowledge” of the infidelity. These are people who saw something corroborating an allegation of cheating, or who had communication with your spouse related to cheating. Your attorney can help identify which of these witnesses can provide admissible evidence to a court.
  3. Obtain records and documentation that may corroborate that your spouse has cheated. Examples are phone messages, text messages, pictures, videos, social media activity, screenshots, bank statements, credit card statements, etc. An attorney can help you determine what records may be admissible as evidence, or what records need to be subpoenaed for court.

New Direction Family Law

If you need help getting through the complex legal issues that come with ending your marriage, contact New Direction Family Law. Our attorneys have decades of combined legal experience and have successfully guided clients though matter of all sized and complexities. We are smart, passionate, and effective in our service to our clients. Our office serves Wake, Johnston, Durham and surrounding counties. Contact New Direction Family Law at (919) 719-3470 to schedule an appointment or reach us online through our website.