In her monthly advice column for Elle magazine, E. Jean, the hilarious once-writer for Saturday Night Live turned life-manager for the magazine’s loyal followers, gave some advice that could have been taken straight from the mouths of many divorce lawyers. Specifically, she stated in her piece entitled “25 Things Every Woman Should Know”:
20. When you discover your husband’s cheating, hire an attorney before you Krazy Glue his $60 Hanro boxers to his backside. A lawyer will help you figure out what you want, and when you know what you want, you’ll be able to act with discipline and courage. Then, over cocktails, tell your spouse you know he’s having an affair. Don’t be treacly. Don’t cry. Don’t squish Kleenex into your face, and be prepared to hold your ground. If you stay strong, drop the helpless-wife act, and tell him exactly what you want, you’ll have taken the first step on a trek that could lead to an advantageous divorce…or a thrillingly nontraditional marriage.
E. Jean is right! When you find out your spouse is cheating do not call your mother/best friend/spouse’s boss/gossip columnist, CALL A LAWYER. Knowing your options is critical at this stage. Proving adultery as a ground for divorce is not as easy as one thinks and certain facts will surprise you. For instance:
*In New York, certain sexual acts constitute adultery (sexual intercourse for example) while others, such as kissing, do not.
*Sexual intercourse with another person while the divorce is pending may constitute adultery.
*If the wronged spouse condones or forgives the adultery, either expressly, or by voluntarily cohabitating with the other spouse while knowing of the adultery, the wronged spouse’s request for a divorce based on adultery will most likely be denied.
If you do find yourself in the situation where you think, or know, that your spouse is cheating, pick up the phone and call a lawyer. Momentarily place your emotions on hold and remember that a divorce is a business decision. To make the correct decision, you will need law explained to you and course of action mapped out for you and not by your mother/best friend/spouse’s boss/gossip columnist. Call a lawyer today.