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Attorney & Mediator
Attorney & Mediator, Lawyer
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My best friend from high school recently moved in with me.

Resolved Question:

My best friend from high school recently moved in with me. Her husband of 3 years recently came home and told her "I don't want to be married anymore. Sorry!" It came as a shock because she didn't realize anything was wrong concerning their relationship. He also mentioned that he had cheated on her while on active leave (he's in the Navy). The split was very much one-sided. She has begged him to consider counseling or even just talking about it between the two of them but he refuses. He says he's already dating people (even though he just left her three weeks ago and they are not officially divorced or even separated). They have spoken of his infidelity through e-mail and he has admitted to everything in writing. She still wants to work things out and she seems to think she can force him to get marriage counseling but I think it's important for her to be safe and prepare herself for a divorce. What rights does she have and what should she do?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Attorney & Mediator replied 7 years ago.
Sorry to hear what your friend is going through.

Unfortunately if he wants out of the marriage, no amount of marriage counseling will save the relationship. The law will not force one party to remain married when they want out.

Since TN does not consider marital misconduct a relevant issue to the divorce process, this means that if there is a divorce the court will divide the property and address the martial issues without placing that great of a weight to his adultery. Adultery would only be useful to facilitate the divorce paperwork in raising a grounds to why a divorce should be obtained.

The adultery would not guarantee her any automatic spousal support nor more of the martial property, the court will consider the issue based on what is considered fair and equitable under their particular circumstances.

As to what she should do, it is up to her if she wishes to attempt reconciliation or accept that there is no hope for the marriage and move on with her life. Given what you have said about his conduct towards her, it does not seem there will be reconcilation. You may wish to encourage that she get counseling so that a professional may help her open her eyes to the situation and get the strength needed to dissolve the marriage.




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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Counseling for herself was the first thing I suggested. He has never been a good husband and she needs to gain the self respect and courage to accept this and move on with her life. Still it seems really unfair that she's done nothing wrong and is still not entitled to anything. I have read that adultry is considered a reason for court marshalling in the military and that it is helpful for wives to use this as a bargaining chip in divorce. Is there any merit to this?
Expert:  Attorney & Mediator replied 7 years ago.
The military laws do not have a specific adultery statute which makes adultery a crime. But the military laws may issue a court marital under the general laws if his actions are considered a discredit to the military. Further the law requires evidence proving the adultery. They are as follows:

There are three "Elements of Proof" for the offense of Adultery in the Military:

  • (1) That the accused wrongfully had sexual intercourse with a certain person;

     

  • (2) That, at the time, the accused or the other person was married to someone else; and

     

  • (3) That, under the circumstances, the conduct of the accused was to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces or was of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces.

So there is some merit to what you have heard, but it will be upto the military to decide if there is evidence enough to court-marital this guy.





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Please Note: My answer or reply is limited to your facts presented and additional information you post may not come in after my reply or answer has posted, if this has occurred please let me know and I will answer further. Due to site tech reasons, oftentimes I am initially only able to see the first part of your post, so this may result in more interactions between us. There might also be a delay in my reply or answers, as I may be helping other customers, or called away from my office or have logged off. Please be assured your question(s) will be answered promptly.

If I have been helpful, please click Accept for my time and research, this is the only way I get paid. If you need more help or clarification, please click reply. Positive Feedback is greatly appreciated and reciprocated. Feedback should relate to customer service and not about the law, which I have no control over. You can always request me through my profile here or beginning your question with “Attention lawNinvest” Thank you.

Legal Disclaimer. The information given by me is not legal advice. You should not and may not rely on anything on this website as legal advice. I am not establishing an attorney-client relationship with you. I am providing only research, resources and information only for you to be informed and educated about your particular needs and my answer is limited to the facts presented. You are only paying me for such information given. No part of this disclaimer can be copied or reproduced without the express consent of the owner [lawNinvest]. Thank you.


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