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Divorce law: imprisonment for Illinois adultery possible

Lake County, Illinois, spouses who think the threat of incarceration for a year will stop their cheating spouses might need to rethink it. While Illinois is one of 21 states with a law identifying adultery as a Class A misdemeanor, records show the law has not been enforced in nearly 71 years. Since Illinois law enforcement has ignored the law for years, the closest legal experience an adulterous partner may have is facing a righteous partner in a Lake County court room, when seeking a divorce to end the marriage.

An Illinois woman who separated from her husband years ago because she discovered that he had had multiple extra-marital affairs, recently, said she supports enforcement of the law. Her support of the law is understandable given her marital history, but, if she cannot expect her husband to be arrested for his adulterous deeds, she might expect that evidence of his behavior can provide solid legal grounds for a divorce.

It is necessary and important to provide evidence of infidelity. As a basis for divorce, the good news is, with social learning media providing lots of evidence, it is not as difficult to prove adultery in these modern times as it was when the law was written decades ago.

If Illinois prosecutors are not willing to aggressively enforce the adultery law, an Illinois family court judge will hardly ignore the evidence of an unfaithful spouse. This evidence is used when deciding such divorce issues as child custody and alimony.

It is not known if enforcement of the Illinois adultery law will ever land an adulterous spouse in jail in the future, or even cause a spouse to think twice before cheating on a partner. Divorce issues, such as infidelity, are sensitive ones that will benefit from the wise counsel of a Libertyville-area divorce attorney.

Source: WSIL-TV, "Illinois Infidelity Against the Law," Matthew Searcy, May 1, 2014

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