Does this count as condonation?


#1

I had a 5 year relationship with someone else while married. I have the following email from my stbx a month after he found out. We stayed together for 3 months after he found out and we separated because I wanted to end things due to emotional abuse. He still did not want to separate. Note that at the time we were going through counseling and actually had sex twice while trying to work it out. He’s even asked to have sex with me several times during our separation period in the last 6 months and I would not. Does this help to prove that there should be no alimony to him (i was the supporting spouse)? Also does it help to prove any marital misconduct on his part around the abuse that would counter-act any alimony claim?

“…as soon as you admitted to it, I felt like I could begin to put this behind us. I know you don’t believe this either, but I do forgive you. I honestly forgive you. I forgive you becasue i know that if i had been half the husband you deserved and wanted none of this would have ever happened. I know in my heart that I drove you to it. And I understand why you did it. I really do. I don’t know what I can do to convince you of this. I guess it’ll just take some time for you to see that I truly do forgive you. I know you are scared that I’m just saying all these things becasuse that’s what you want to hear. It’s not. I’m saying these things because after all these years I want to change, I need to change. I thing that you are right, I had to hit rock bottom before I could see the light. I have seen the light and now realize that nothing in my life means more to me and is more important to me than you and the children. I’ve said it before, but it’s still true. I have never told you the things I’ve said the past few weeks or ever admitted to my hurtful ways. And i have never before started to something about changing my destructive and harmful ways…most of all I’m sorry for the night I pushed you down and locked you out of the bedroom and said all those horrible things…I see now that hte very things I love about you are the things that you no longer show mea nd that I need to stop trying to control you before we can start the healing process and you can share those things with me again. I love you for you. I do. I know you’ve put up a wall around you to keep me from hurting you anymore. YOu didn’t do anything to deserve this; none of this is your fault. You tried so hard and i wouldn’t listen and for that I will forever be sorry, but if you take a chance on me, on us, I promise that i will spend the rest of my life trying to make it up to you. I love you more than I ever have. No matter what happens, know that”


#2

The short answer is it depends; the long answer is as follows:

The statute states that supporting spouse who participated in an act of illicit sexual behavior during the marriage and prior to the date of separation shall pay alimony to the dependant spouse. It further states that any act of illicit sexual behavior by either party that has been condoned shall not be considered by the court.

I would suggest that the email is good evidence that your affair was condoned, however Condonation of the affair is not enough to relieve you of a potential alimony obligation. As a supporting spouse you likely have an obligation regardless of any affair. The court will consider all relevant factors falling under these catagories”

Amount and Duration. – The court shall exercise its discretion in determining the amount, duration, and manner of payment of alimony. The duration of the award may be for a specified or for an indefinite term. In determining the amount, duration, and manner of payment of alimony, the court shall consider all relevant factors, including:
(1) The marital misconduct of either of the spouses. Nothing herein shall prevent a court from considering incidents of post date-of-separation marital misconduct as corroborating evidence supporting other evidence that marital misconduct occurred during the marriage and prior to date of separation;
(2) The relative earnings and earning capacities of the spouses;
(3) The ages and the physical, mental, and emotional conditions of the spouses;
(4) The amount and sources of earned and unearned income of both spouses, including, but not limited to, earnings, dividends, and benefits such as medical, retirement, insurance, social security, or others;
(5) The duration of the marriage;
(6) The contribution by one spouse to the education, training, or increased earning power of the other spouse;
(7) The extent to which the earning power, expenses, or financial obligations of a spouse will be affected by reason of serving as the custodian of a minor child;
(8) The standard of living of the spouses established during the marriage;
(9) The relative education of the spouses and the time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the spouse seeking alimony to find employment to meet his or her reasonable economic needs;
(10) The relative assets and liabilities of the spouses and the relative debt service requirements of the spouses, including legal obligations of support;
(11) The property brought to the marriage by either spouse;
(12) The contribution of a spouse as homemaker;
(13) The relative needs of the spouses;
(14) The federal, State, and local tax ramifications of the alimony award;
(15) Any other factor relating to the economic circumstances of the parties that the court finds to be just and proper.


#3

Thanks! In terms of him being the dependent spouse, does it matter that he wasn’t looking for work on purpose for years and that was one of the major reasons we had issues, aside from the abuse. Oh, also, does it matter about the abuse? I never called the police or anything but I do have documentation about it, like a diary.


#4

The court can consider the fact that he wasn’t working, and if it finds that he is capable of working, and is depressing his income in bad faith, the court can impute his earning capacity to him to reduce his demonstrated need.

As for the abuse, I believe that would fall under the catch all provision (15) in the statute, and it may or may not influence the judge’s decision.


#5

Just to make sure I understand, is this what you are saying: my misconduct was most likely forgiven in the eyes of the court, however I may still have an alimony issue since he is the dependent spouse. But I MAY be able to refute that based on the abusiveness. Is that right?


#6

Yes, your misconduct could be viewed has having been condoned, but that still may not relieve you of your duty of support because he is a dependant spouse. His abuse may come into play to reduce and or eliminate an award of support.


#7

Okay, last question around this. I am still seeing the 3rd party and we plan to marry once both our separation periods end. We are trying to be as careful as possible. I know that continuing to see each other corroberates that we were having an affair in the first place. However, with the forgiveness letter plus house bill 1110 being in effect, what would be the effects if he were to find out we were still seeing each other? The 3rd party is still at risk for 2 more years but am I at least safe? It’s very confusing that we’re separated but still cannot date.


#8

Your affair can be used as corroborating evidence that it began pre-separation, which could vitiate any Condonation (if it was gained while the affair was ongoing).