Infidelity is the cause of many divorces. When most people think about adultery, they think about a physical relationship outside of a marriage. However, not all infidelity is physical. Emotional affairs are arguably just as bad as an affair that consisted of physical activity. The actions are just as hurtful, if not more hurtful, and can often end a marriage. Unfortunately, an emotional affair is not yet recognized as adultery or infidelity in the eye of the law in many states, even when it is the cause of the marriage breakdown. Here are some things you need to know:
What Is the Difference Between Physical and Emotional Affairs?
There are some differences between an affair that is physical and on that is emotional. One thing to think about is that a physical affair can also be emotional while an emotional affair does not have to include physical sexual activity. Emotional affairs consist of strong emotional attachments. They often begin innocently, but later develop into a romantic attraction. Texting regularly, calling each other, and secretly meeting to talk in person are all different ways to have an emotional affair. Not all emotional affairs lead to a physical affair, but they can go in that direction in many instances.
How Do Courts Handle Adultery in Divorce Cases?
Every state has different rules about adultery and divorces. Most states define adultery as sexual activity with a person other than the spouse. Although emotional affairs can cause just as much damage to a marriage, they do not typically count as an act of adultery in court. Adultery in the eye of the law has to include physical sexual acts in order to divorce on the grounds of infidelity.
If you are unable to provide proof that an affair included physical acts, you cannot file for divorce on the grounds of adultery. Testimony from the victimized spouse, unfortunately, is not enough proof that an affair took place. To prove adultery, you must provide proof in the form of video, pictures, phone records, witness testimony, and financial records.
However, if you can show proof that although your spouse's emotional affair did not get physical but had the propensity to become physical in the near future, you might have a chance of convincing the court to grant you a divorce on the grounds of adultery. This does not happen often, but it is not impossible if you have the evidence that you need.
If you believe your spouse is having an emotional affair and you want to proceed with divorce, speak to a divorce attorney. You may be able to gather enough evidence to prove adultery took place in court.