One of the most common problems we are asked to investigate is Domestic Infidelity. Whether a client is suspecting that their partner maybe unfaithful; checking to see if their partner has truly ended a additional relationship; or they know for a fact their partner is being unfaithful and need documentation for court, we are experts at catching people who cheat. If you or a loved one are in one of these situations, here are a few things you may need to know:
Domestic Infidelity is defined as the violation of trust between two domestic partners. Infidelity can be any nefarious activity that a person engages in that is done without the knowledge and permission of their partner. Some examples of Domestic Infidelity are: someone who is fired from their job neglects to tell their partner; when a spouse secretly stops off to drink or to gamble on the way home from work; or someone who is having an adulterous relationship with a coworker. Any behavior that is kept from a person’s partner that violates their trust may be considered Domestic Infidelity, including Adultery.
Adultery, on the other hand, is much more straightforward. Adultery is commonly defined as: The voluntary sexual intercourse by a married person with someone other than the offender’s spouse. It is important to understand that Adultery is a crime in many jurisdictions, although it is rarely prosecuted. State law typically defines Adultery as vaginal intercourse, only. Therefore, two people seen kissing, groping, or engaged in oral sex, do not meet the legal definition of Adultery. However, this may be about to change as same-sex marriage has become legalized in some states in our country, including Maryland. These states are in the process of reexamining their definitions of Adultery in order for the law to provide the same protections to same sex couples that are afforded to marriages between members of the opposite sex.
“Adultery is defined as: The voluntary sexual
intercourse by a married person with
someone other than the offender’s spouse.”
Proof Of Adultery
Obtaining proof that voluntary sexual intercourse has taken place between two parties can be extremely difficult and often impossible. Fortunately, for those attempting to use adultery as grounds for a divorce, the law does not require that someone witness the parties engaged in the act of sexual intercourse. Instead, you may present evidence in court that the offender and their paramour had what is termed the “Opportunity” and the “Disposition” to have sexual intercourse.
A couple having an Opportunity to commit Adultery is typically demonstrated when the two parties enter into a private place together for a period of time that is long enough to have intercourse. Seeing a couple enter into a motel room together and then leave an hour later is a good example of the parties having an Opportunity to commit adultery. It is important to note that the private place must not be occupied by anyone else during this time.
A couple having the Disposition to commit adultery is shown when the pair demonstrates a desire, or “Inclination,” to have sexual intercourse. In most Adultery cases, evidence of this is presented to the court in the form of testimony by an objective third party who witnessed a Public Display of Affection (PDA) take place between the couple. Evidence of Disposition can also be demonstrated by something as simple as a legal obtained greeting card that was sent by one party to the other and in the card the sender suggests by either the type or message in the greeting card that there was romantic love, intimacy, or something more than just platonic friendship between them. Seeing a couple holding hands, kissing one another on the lips, or walking arm-in-arm are all good examples of a couple demonstrating the Disposition to commit adultery. It is important to note that you must have evidence of the same two people having both the Opportunity, and the Disposition, to commit adultery, or the claim of adultery will probably be ruled invalid in the absence of additional evidence.
Experience has shown that more often than not, people who confess to having affairs, especially those who are inadvertently detected and then confronted by their spouse, do not actually end their affairs as often stated. One reason for this could be that the paramour may not be as interested in ending the relationship, and therefore, is putting pressure on the offender to continue with the relationship. We recommend that anyone attempting to reconcile with their spouse after they have admitted to having an affair be mindful of this and remain cautious. If a spouse is not willing to cease all communications and any contact with their paramour, we would suggest that this is an indication that they are not willing to do everything that is necessary to end the adulterous relationship and earn the trust of their spouse. Unfortunately, we work with many people who are in this situation. We can provide information about the spouse’s activities so our client knows exactly what the truth is so they do not get taken advantage of again.
To Learn More
For more information on Domestic Infidelity, Adultery, and how the evidence of this behavior can be utilized during the divorce process, please consult with a licensed family law attorney working in your jurisdiction. If you would like to learn more about the process we use to investigate these matters in Fairfax, VA and surrounding areas, please contact us using the information listed below.