If Your Husband Is Cheating to You?
At the David W. Martin Law Group, our South Carolina family law attorneys know that learning that your husband is having an affair is devastating news that can lead to a highly emotional reaction. While we are attorneys, and not family counselors, anger, grief, sadness, confusion, and betrayal are all typical reactions to learning a spouse is cheating.
Unfortunately, these findings, and the emotions that follow, are common in South Carolina and across the nation.
WebMD reports that between one in four to five Americans have an affair in their lifetime. Less surprising is, with dating and social media apps now a large part of most people’s lives, many husbands are likely to find their affair partners online.
If you have discovered signs that your husband is cheating, or have caught him in the act, you have several options based on your unique circumstances.
Option One: Fight for Your Marriage
Even if your husband is cheating, it is not necessarily the end of your marriage.
In some cases, couples can work through infidelity by talking through their issues together, with religious advisors, trusted family members, or professional therapists. This decision is unique to each marriage and will require a lot of work by both spouses to move forward.
Remember, recovering from an affair takes time. You will need time to grieve and forgive the betrayal, while learning how to communicate about your marriage without the affair being the sole topic of conversation. The timeline to move forward is different for everyone and requires each spouse to take as long as they need to heal and reconnect with their husband.
Option Two: Secure the Evidence to Hold Him Accountable During Your Divorce
Adultery is grounds for a fault divorce in South Carolina, but filing for a fault divorce requires proof of wrongdoing that breached the marital contract. You simply cannot accuse your husband of cheating and expect to be divorced right away.
If you are filing for a fault-based divorce, you must first file a summons and complaint about the divorce, along with the evidence necessary to prove your spouse is cheating. This requires “inclination and opportunity” showing circumstantial evidence that the spouse had the disposition to commit adultery and that he or she had the opportunity to do so.
In simple terms, this may mean you found (and recorded/copied) suggestive messages between your husband and the other person, and captured them alone together having lunch, at the other’s home, or in a public place like a hotel. You do not have to prove they had a sexual encounter – just that they had the inclination and opportunity to do so.
It then takes between 30 and 60 days to file an answer to the complaint and any counterclaims.
You may request a final hearing on fault-based grounds 90 days after you initially file for divorce in South Carolina.
Option Three: Talk to a Skilled South Carolina Divorce Attorney to Take the Lead
Please know that if you are unable to heal from your husband’s affair or have no interest in staying in a marriage with a person who has physically, emotionally, and psychologically betrayed you, you can speak with a divorce attorney right away to begin planning your new life.
Call our trusted South Carolina family law attorneys at 803-548-2468 or contact us online to set a meeting to learn more about your legal rights and options to seek a divorce and the property division and spousal support you are entitled to, or child custody and support — when applicable — during the divorce, and going forward.