${site.data.firmName}${SEMFirmNameAlt}
To talk to an experienced family law attorney about your case,
please call our Fargo office at
701-297-2234
Menu Contact

Could someone be convicted of the crime of adultery?

Most North Dakota residents would agree that extra-marital affairs should be avoided whenever possible, and they would also agree that they are quite common. What they might not know, however, is that under the technicality of the law, an extra-marital affair could also be considered illegal in some states.

In 2005, the wife of a 29-year-old airman contacted police to inform that her spouse was involved in an affair with a 16-year-old girl. In this case, the issue was obviously one of criminal importance because the girl was under the age of 18. However, there have also been prosecutions relating to extra-marital affairs between two consenting adults. For example, in 1991, a New York woman accused her husband of engaging in sexual relations with another woman. The 1991 case was particularly noteworthy because it was the first such criminal matter concerning a cheating spouse and two consenting adults in the state since 1940.

Also, in 1989 in Wisconsin, a man accused his wife of committing the crime of adultery during a contentious child custody battle -- and it was the first such case in the state since 1888. In the 1989 case, the accused woman's husband confessed to committing adultery, too, but prosecutors could not move forward with the criminal allegations because the affair happened while the man was across state lines. The woman could have been sentenced to a two-year jail term had she been convicted, in addition to a $10,000 fine. However, the woman agreed to participate in a community service program in addition to parental counseling and prosecutors dismissed her case.

The fact is, even though adultery is still illegal under the technicality of the law in many states, it is highly unlikely that such criminal charges would ever stick. However, if the alleged adultery was committed in relation to a sex crime, sexual assault or some other criminal event, those charges could stick and they could ultimately affect one's North Dakota child custody proceedings.

Source: Salon, "Your affair might be illegal: Inside the complicated world — and 21 states — where adultery remains against the law," Deborah L. Rhode, April 02, 2016

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
EMAIL US FOR A RESPONSE

Tell Us About Your Case

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Commandments of Family Law

  1. The only truth your children need to know is that you both love them unconditionally, and that this isn't their fault.
  2. Take the high road — everyone wins when you do what's best for your kids.
  3. Negotiate but don't capitulate — if you are being pushed toward something detrimental for your children, stand your ground.
  4. You can only control yourself and how you respond. Don't engage.
  5. Do set up rules and responsibilities. Kids feel better when routine is continued.
  6. You are still their parent — don't be afraid to be one.
  7. Disneyland is in California, not in your home. Don't set up unreasonable expectations.
  8. It is not their job to take care of you. Repeat that to them. Often.
  9. Yelling is for sports — not court. Good lawyers strongly advocate without being disrespectful to opposing parties.
  10. Fair is a place you go to get cheese curds. Aside from that, nothing in life is fair.

Our Location:

Melinda Weerts PLLC
2534 South University Drive Suite 2
Fargo, ND 58103

Fax: 701-271-0082
Fargo Law Office Map

Back to top