PROVING ADULTERY

What is Adultery?

Under Mississippi law, adultery is voluntary sexual intercourse on the part of either spouse with a person other than his or her own spouse. One incidence of adultery is sufficient. As the Mississippi Supreme Court has previously explained, a one night stand is still adultery.

How do you prove adultery?

A claim of adultery must be proven by clear and convincing evidence. There are many ways to meet this burden of proof. Adultery can be proven through the admission of the cheating spouse or the cheating spouse’s paramour. Adultery can also be proven by testimony and evidence of actual adultery.  When there is no direct evidence of adultery, it may be proven by presenting evidence that your spouse had: (1) an adulterous inclination; and (2) the reasonable opportunity to satisfy that inclination. An adulterous inclination requires proof that the spouse was infatuated with a particular person or that your spouse had a general adulterous propensity.

What is condonation?

Condonation is the act of overlooking or forgiving an offense. In Mississippi, forgiving a spouse’s past marital transgressions may legally bar you from obtaining a divorce based on adultery. Condonation occurs when a spouse voluntarily forgives the other spouse for committing some sort of marital misconduct. However, such forgiveness is conditioned on continued good behavior and not committing another marital offense.

A claim of condonation is commonly used by the other spouse as a defense to a claim for divorce based on adultery.