What can the Courts do if I can show that my soon to be Ex-Spouse had bad behavior such as cheating on me, drinking or drug use?

 In Massachusetts there is an aspect of division of marital assets that can include the conduct of the parties during the marriage. However, the Courts do not put a lot of weight for inappropriate or wrongful conduct.  It does not have the amount of impact that most people think that it would in terms of division of assets or financial aspects of it.

The Judge can consider both positive and negative conduct.  There are times where the parties behavior would have a significant outcome in terms of division of assets or support.  Usually if it is adultery, unless it impacts the children, that does not have a significant weight; which might be counter intuitive to what a lot of people might think.

However, if there is a financial component, so if someone has committed adultery the court might not consider that significant other than granting the divorce, but in terms of division of assets or support.  However, if one party is taking the third party on expensive trips or spending a lot of money, that might be financial misconduct which would be more likely grounds to have the asset division or alimony support aspect a little bit different if they can show that they are depleting marital assets.  It can have a larger impact on custody at times, again, not as much as most people expect.

If I am getting a Divorce, can I introduce my date or significant other to my children?

There is not a law saying that you are not allowed to do that, unless there is a court order.  However, the Courts do not look favorably upon introducing dates and significant others to your children until the divorce is allowed by the Judge.  Every case is different and always depends upon what each party can agree.  The Courts want to provide as much stability and structure as they can and having third parties being significant parts of each other’s lives during a divorce can make the situation even more difficult.

You can have a social life and to date but be very careful on the impact it would have on your children.