As the #MeToo movement has picked up steam, public figures like Kevin Spacey and Matt Lauer have been accused, and have admitted to, sexual impropriety in the workplace. Presumably, sexual impropriety and harassment by thousands more men (and likely at least a few women) who are not famous has been brought to light as well. Famous or not, these allegations can have far-reaching effects for those accused and their families, especially for those that are married.
If your spouse has admitted to sexual harassment or impropriety in the workplace or elsewhere, here are some things to keep in mind:
You may want to protect yourself in writing.
A marital agreement can be established as long as both parties fully disclose their financial standing and no one is forced to sign under duress. If your marriage has been shaken by your spouse’s actions and you believe divorce might be a possibility, getting a marital agreement now rather than later can ensure that you are not financially at risk for your spouse’s behavior and receive what you are due.
A physical fight now can have consequences later.
While finding out about a spouse’s infidelity is sure to spark anger, remember that your actions now can have long-lasting consequences. Accusations of domestic violence will likely be factored into a judge’s decision regarding your fitness to be a parent, so getting into a physical fight with your spouse could lead to losing ground when it comes to arguing for custody of your children in a divorce.
What you say to your children matters.
It’s hard not to want to speak ill of your spouse in light of such news, but make sure that you try to remain positive when speaking with your children about your spouse even while your instinct may be to protect them from your spouse’s behavior. In Colorado, judges actually use how you talk about your spouse as a consideration for who wins custody. The judge’s desire is to award more time to the parent who is the most supportive as a co-parent when it comes to their ex-spouse, even as you try to protect your children from behavior you fear may indicate a personality defect that can’t be excused.
It’s never too early to bring in a divorce attorney.
You may not be sure that you’re ready for a divorce now, but if you think it’s a possibility, we recommend scheduling time with one of our divorce attorneys. We’re not just here to complete divorces; we can advise you regarding your options and help you understand the ramifications of a divorce. In addition, we can counsel you on what documentation you might want to assemble should you decide to pursue a divorce in the future as well as actions you should consider to strengthen your positions should a divorce ultimately occur.
Allegations of sexual harassment – or worse – can be devastating for a marriage. If you have been affected by such allegations and are considering divorce, following the above tips can help you be proactive in ensuring a successful outcome for yourself and your children. For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us.