Infidelity is a problem that occurs in approximately 25% of marriages and it’s one of the most frequently cited reasons for divorce. Interestingly, the pandemic may have increased the likelihood of affairs occurring. The stress of the pandemic spills over into the relationship and increases the risk of experiencing infidelity.

Moreover, dissatisfaction in the current relationship — coupled with the mental, social, and financial effects of government stay-at-home orders — may have also increased the negative perceptions towards their partner and the relationship as a whole. This may lead to extramarital affairs. So what should you do if you suspect your spouse has been cheating on you? Here are some do’s and don’ts to guide you through the difficulties:

Do collect proof before you confront them

Experts generally agree that you should confront your spouse in case they are cheating, but you will need to have a plan. First, choose a time and place carefully so you can discuss the affair at length and without interruption; if you have children, the confrontation should ideally be done without them present.

It’s always best to have proof of the affair as well, as cheating means different things to different people. According to research on cheating, 70% of people have not defined what counts as infidelity with their partner. Emotional cheating, for example, may not count as adultery in court, but can still be grounds for divorce. Having evidence like photos, phone records, audio or video recordings, bank statements, and witness testimonies on hand will help you save time and resources.

Don’t waste your energy on the “other” party

It’s natural for you to become curious about the person your spouse is having an affair with, also known as their paramour. However, it’s better to spend your time and energy elsewhere. It can be humiliating and frustrating to confront them, while harassing or threatening them can put you on the wrong side of the law.

If you feel the need to file claims against your spouse’s paramour, some states allow you to claim a “heart balm” tort, which is also known as alienation of affection. This claim is for people who believe that they were deserted or left by their spouse as the result of the third party. You have to prove that genuine love and affection existed between you and your spouse prior to the divorce and that the third party was the controlling, proximate cause for alienation of affection.

Do contact authorities when unscrupulous things happen

In some cases, there may be financial infidelity on top of the cheating as well. Financial infidelity happens when couples lie to each other about money. There are a number of professionals you can contact online with regards to this. You can now reach divorce lawyers through the internet for an initial consultation, and they may be able to give you advice on how they would approach the case in terms of financial settlements or custody.

Should you decide to get a divorce due to your partner cheating, you would need a team to represent you. You can work with lawyers and also people with forensic psychology credentials, as they can help you work through your trauma and legal matters at the same time. Aside from a strong psychology background, forensic psychologists are also trained to handle investigations and social issues. Baldwin Legal Investigations has plenty of experience with civil cases, so we can definitely be of service to you.

Don’t neglect your children

Divorce can undoubtedly take a toll on the children involved. It’s important to pay extra attention to your children, especially their moods and behaviors, when you’re undergoing tricky custody proceedings. Often, the courts decide on custody and visitation based on the best interests of the child; this means that adultery as grounds for divorce wouldn’t factor in unless your spouse’s adultery is affecting their ability to parent. Both parents should commit to work together and put their children’s needs first.

If you’re still uncertain about how you want to proceed or would like to collect more evidence on your spouse before making a decision, Baldwin Legal Investigations (BLI) can help. Have modern, cyber-armed private detectives assist you with your case. By combining technology and face-to-face work, BLI’s personal investigators can discreetly provide you with the truth you need to stand in court.

A piece by Brielle Abram
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