Infidelity has ended a lot of marriages. When we think of adultery, though, we think of physical relationships. Gaining more recognition, though, is the emotional affair. While an emotional affair could wreck a marriage, the courts do not consider it a form of adultery, a potentially important point if pursuing a divorce.

Physical vs. Emotional Affairs

What separates physical affairs from emotional affairs is physical contact. Physical affairs require an in-person meeting and sexual contact.

Emotional affairs involve romantic, emotional attachments formed outside of the marriage, no physical intimacy required. Texting, talking on the phone and meeting for lunch could all be part of an emotional affair. Emotional affairs can lead to physical affairs over time, but not all do.

How Georgia Courts View Adultery

Georgia courts define adultery as sexual congress with someone other than your spouse while married. While emotional affairs can be just as damaging to the marriage as physical affairs, they do not constitute adultery in divorce court.

It is not enough for your spouse to have formed an emotional connection with another person. They must have been involved with that person in a physical, sexual way in order to file for divorce on the grounds of adultery.

So if you cannot prove the physical affair took place, then you will be unable to file for divorce on the grounds of adultery. Testimony from one spouse is not enough to prove adultery. You will need to present evidence in the form of:

  • Photos
  • Video or audio recordings
  • Phone records
  • Bank statements
  • Credit card statements
  • Witness testimony

You may not be able to prove that sexual contact occurred, but proving that your spouse had the opportunity and inclination to physically cheat on you may be enough to prove adultery.

The Effects of Adultery on Divorce

If one spouse was physically unfaithful to the other during the marriage, it might affect the terms of divorce. For example, infidelity may prevent the spouse who was unfaithful to the other from receiving alimony. See our previous blog on how adultery may affect the divorce for more information.

While emotional affairs are not adultery as far as the courts are concerned, any form of cheating can lead to divorce. Even if you are not filing for divorce on the grounds of adultery, there are still a lot of legal processes to follow, evidence to compile, and divorce negotiations to manage. Call The Ward Law Firm at 770-383-1973 to set up a REAL Case Analysis where you can discuss your divorce case.

David Ward
Georgia Divorce, Family Law and Estate Planning Attorney. Helping Parents Protect The Things That Matter Most