The short answer is no, the law does not punish a party for committing adultery(other than costs for the divorce suit). Adultery will not have any influence on how the court divides the financial assets. However, if your ex-partner moves in with a new partner and/or starts a new family, this may affect the amount of spousal and/or child maintenance you receive for yourself and your children.
An ex-partner's conduct will only be taken into consideration if their behaviour is exceptionally bad or if your ex-partner willingly tries to deceive the court in relation to their finances; such as diverting or dissipating their assets. In some situations, if a party discovers there has been financial misconduct after the financial order has been made, such as non-disclosure of assets, the order can be set aside and the case is likely to be reheard from the beginning, taken into account the missing assets and the party's conduct. In addition the dishonest party may have to pay the costs of the rehearing for both parties.
Adultery may occasionally play a role in influencing the financial outcome when the parties are trying to reach an agreement (without court intervention), as one party can sometimes feel remorseful and want to financially compensate the other party for this misdemeanour.
If you are experiencing relationship issues in relation to finances, or know someone else who is, and would like further advice please do not hesitate to contact Keeley Lawrence-Hoyle in our Family Team on 01245 228106 or email Lawrence-Hoylek@gepp.co.uk