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is adultery illegal in pa

Customer Question
is adultery illegal in pa
Submitted: 7 years ago.Category: Family Law
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Answered in 3 minutes by:
9/21/2010
Family Lawyer: TJ, Esq., Attorney replied 7 years ago
TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 12,569
Experience: JD, MBA
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Hi. Yes, it is a crime. If you'd like I'll provide the criminal code number. It'll be a few minutes.
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
can you give me criminal code number and what the penalty can be
Family Lawyer: TJ, Esq., Attorney replied 7 years ago
Hi again. After some research, I found that the law prohibiting adultery was repealed. I found a few old cases that mentioned that it was a misdemeanor in PA:

"adultery which is a misdemeanor under the Act of June 24, 1939, P.L. 872, § 505, 18 P.S. § 4505."

However, I could not find current case law on the issue, nor the current location of the code. Then I discovered why. This is from a Supreme Court case:

"The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania repealed its law prohibiting adultery and fornication in 1972. 1972 Pa.Laws, Act No. 334, 5."

So, my initial response was not correct. In PA, adultery is no longer a crime.

DISCLAIMER: Please be aware that only an attorney licensed in your state is authorized to advise you in legal matters, and that the limitations of this setting may prevent your legal issues from being thoroughly addressed. Accordingly, please understand that (1) by answering your question(s) I am not acting as your attorney, (2) my answer(s) should be construed as general information only, and (3) our discussion is not an adequate substitute for an in-person consultation with an attorney.

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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
so a person can be married in pa and have sex with anyone they want that is willing
Family Lawyer: TJ, Esq., Attorney replied 7 years ago
If you're asking if a married person in PA will be criminally punished for having sex with someone other than his/her spouse, then the answer is no.

To be honest, even in states where it is still illegal (such as Maryland, for example), the punishment is quite light. If I recall correctly, it's a $10 fine. The purpose of keeping it illegal in Maryland is not to punish the offender, but to allow him to avoid testifying about it in a divorce case (in other words, a person cannot be compelled to incriminate himself, and thus, he can refuse to answer a question about adultery in a divorce case). That keeps the burden of proof on the spouse claiming adultery.

I hope that helps.

DISCLAIMER: Please be aware that only an attorney licensed in your state is authorized to advise you in legal matters, and that the limitations of this setting may prevent your legal issues from being thoroughly addressed. Accordingly, please understand that (1) by answering your question(s) I am not acting as your attorney, (2) my answer(s) should be construed as general information only, and (3) our discussion is not an adequate substitute for an in-person consultation with an attorney.

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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
can it effect child custody
Family Lawyer: TJ, Esq., Attorney replied 7 years ago
No, child custody is not generally affected by adultery because the child's best interests are the most important factor. The adultery was an indignity to the non-cheating parent, but it does not necessarily mean that the cheating parent is a bad parent. However, the parent's character and fitness is an important factor in determining child custody, and therefore, in extreme cases a parent's infidelity may be important. Obviously, for example, a judge would not likely give custody to a cheating parent who has prostitutes staying over every night.

If the information that I provided is helpful, then please remember to click the green accept button so that I will receive credit and compensation for my time. Positive feedback is always appreciated as well. Thank you and good luck!

DISCLAIMER: Please be aware that only an attorney licensed in your state is authorized to advise you in legal matters, and that the limitations of this setting may prevent your legal issues from being thoroughly addressed. Accordingly, please understand that (1) by answering your question(s) I am not acting as your attorney, (2) my answer(s) should be construed as general information only, and (3) our discussion is not an adequate substitute for an in-person consultation with an attorney.

TJ, Esq.
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