If you’ve discovered that your spouse has been unfaithful — there may be legal retributions. In the state of Oklahoma, adultery is grounds for divorce and for felony charges.

What counts as adultery?

Adultery is legally defined as any voluntary sexual relations between two individuals if at least one individual is married and the other is not the individual’s spouse.

How is adultery punishable by law?

Though we don’t often think of the act of cheating as being illegal, adultery is illegal in 21 states. Many states prosecute this offense as a misdemeanor. However, Oklahoma law states that adultery offenders face felony charges, punishable by imprisonment in the state penitentiary for up to five years or a fine up to $500 or both.

Cohabitation with another party within 30 days of an Oklahoma divorce is considered adultery too. It is also unlawful for a divorced party to remarry again in Oklahoma within six months of the decree of divorce.

Does adultery affect how the courts rule a divorce arrangement?

Infidelity may serve as grounds to end a marriage. If your spouse has cheated on you, you may choose to file an at-fault divorce, citing adultery as the fault that caused the divorce.

The court may change the way they divide marital assets or award spousal support if the act of adultery created a financial impact on the other spouse.

For example, if marital funds were spent toward the affair, the spouse that cheated may be awarded a smaller portion after marital property is divided. Likewise, if the affair caused the cheating spouse to lose his or her job, the divorcing spouse may no longer be required to pay spousal support.

Divorce can carry both emotional and legal complexities. If you are seeking a divorce from an unfaithful spouse, contact an attorney for help. A good lawyer can make the details of divorce law easier to work through.