Question Details: Wife was unfaithful while deployed overseas. I raised our children for the last year while she was away. Do I have any chance of gaining custody of the kids? Or are women always awarded custody no matter what the case is? Also, what would the alimony payments be for two kids? I live in Grundy County, IL
Illinois is a no fault state in the sense that adultery, while a ground for divorce, cannot be considered in the division of property or in awards of alimony (maintenance). The language of Illinois divorce law regarding property and maintenance states that the court shall determine the issues “without regard to marital misconduct.” Illinois divorce law regarding custody states, “the court shall not consider the conduct of a present or proposed custodian that does not affect his relationship with the child.”
As for who is awarded custody, in Illinois custody determinations are made by the court based on the best interest of the child "standard." The old days of the "tender years doctrine" (when courts presumed children would best be served by an award of custody to the mother) are long gone.
As for alimony, without regard to marital misconduct, the court will award maintenance in a lump sum or for a fixed or indefinite period of time, and the maintenance may be paid from the income or property of the other spouse after consideration of all relevant factors, including: (A) the income and assets of each party; (B) the financial needs of each party; (C) the earning capacity of each party; (D) any impairment of the present and future earning capacity of the party seeking maintenance due to that party devoting time to domestic duties or having forgone or delayed education, training, employment, or career opportunities due to the marriage; (E) the time necessary for the receiving party to seek employment (F) the standard of living established while married; (G) the length of the marriage; (H) the age and health condition of both parties; (I) the tax ramifications of the property award upon the respective economic circumstances of the parties; (J) contributions and services by the party seeking maintenance to the education, training, career or career potential, or license of the other spouse; (K) any valid mutual agreement of the parties; and (L) any other factor that the court expressly finds. (750 Illinois Compiled Statutes - Chapter 5 - Sections: 504)
What you need to do now is to consult with a divorce attorney in your area on this.