QUESTION: CAN MY SPOUSE BE PUNISHED FOR EXTRAMARITAL RELATIONS DURING OUR MARRIAGE?
Normally, neither spouse is "punished" by the Court for extramarital relationships. When admissible evidence of "marital
waste" is offered, the Court does consider the "waste" (dissipation
of marital funds subject to equitable division) when trying to equitably divide
marital assets and debts. "Marital waste" would have to be materially
significant for it to be relevant. [O.R.C. ~ 3105.171(E)(3) states,
"[i]f a spouse has engaged in financial misconduct, including, but not
limited to, the dissipation of assets, the court may compensate the offended
spouse with a distributive award or with a greater award of marital
A few hundred dollars spent on dinners and movies may be considered irrelevant. When a spouse buys an extramarital partner a car that costs several thousand dollars or takes the partner on a cruise costing several thousand dollars, that may be materially significant. If the money spent is clearly identifiable as marital funds (e.g., preseparation marital savings) that were clearly identified as spent on the extramarital partner, offset may be granted by the Court. Claims unsupported by proper exhibits (records) or admissions by the spouse, may be disregarded.
This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It is not offered as, and does not constitute, legal advice. The answer presumes you are not currently represented by an attorney who knows your specific circumstances.