Apart from financial stress, one of the other most common causes of marriage breakdown is infidelity.
We live in an age where digital media allows us access to greater numbers of people than we have ever experienced. Online programs used by people looking for relationships have exploded in the past 5 years with Tinder claiming approximately 50 million users worldwide. Whilst statistics vary* it is well known that a percentage of the users on this app are married. Electronic conversations can remain hidden from partners locked away behind passwords and bogus identities.
The ability to transgress in a relationship has never been easier. The traditional assertion that it is just men cheating on their wives can no longer be sustained. The balancing of gender equality has revealed a noticeable increase in the number of female perpetrators of marital transgression. Either way, the purpose of this article is not to proportion blame at either parties’ door. The old adage of ‘…it takes two to make and two to break” still stands the test of time.
So, what happens when the game is up?
It would not be unreasonable to think that most people surveyed would feel the cheater should stand to lose simply because they were the unfaithful partner.
The truth of the matter is that in most cases, it is irrelevant to the Family Court why the relationship broke down, including if a partner has been unfaithful during the relationship.
The Family Law system in Australia is often referred to as a “no-fault jurisdiction”. The Family Court will disregard personal conduct that is not relevant to financial and child-related disputes.
Shouldn’t they be punished?
Whilst most might not agree it is not the role of the Family Court to punish partners, but rather to resolve issues in dispute relevant to financial and children’s issues. It may be relevant if a partner has been the victim of family violence as this is relevant to child-related disputes, and in cases of severe family violence, may also impact on property settlement.
So what should you do, if you find out your partner is cheating?
There is no right or wrong answer and no way of knowing what course your relationship might take depending on what type of action you do or don’t take. Obviously, there are a number of options available and there are many agencies and counselling services that can help people through such as crises.
It boils down to whether you both are prepared to work through it or bring the relationship to an end.
If there can be an amicable separation then you will obviously both see it through to a peaceful end, however, in circumstances where you are not on amicable terms with your former partner, it may be easier and more efficient to engage someone who can assist you to reach a swift settlement.
If you need help with a matter such as this you can speak to one of our friendly and understanding team at Dimond Family Lawyers for advice and to provide you with certainty and peace of mind as to the best way to address separation from your partner.
*Source: The Guardian 30 Aug 2015 .The Tinder account added: “Our actual data says that 1.7% of Tinder users are married”