Archive | Adultery

Adultery Is a Crime in Frederick Maryland

Adultery is a Crime Committed When a Married Person Has Sexual Intercouse With a Person Who is Not His/Her Spouse.

There is potential criminal prosecution and/or criminal penalties surrounding adultery in many states. These criminal penalties, and the statutes that surround them, range in both the definition of adultery and the potential penalty for the crime. In Maryland and Virginia the offense of adultery is still a crime but in The District of Columbia repealed the criminal penalty of adultery in 2003. Many other states have “decriminalized” adultery. I find that term “decriminalized” to be tongue in cheek because virtually no one was prosecuted in the first place.

In Maryland adultery is defined as a married person having sex with someone who is not his/her spouse. It is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $10. In states such as Maryland where adultery is a “crime” it works a bittersweet effect upon the perpetrator. Irrespective of the reality that virtually no one is prosecuted for the crime, it remains a crime none the less. A person who is believed to have committed adultery may therefore “plead the 5th”. (I don’t think that was contemplated by our founding fathers.)

This often makes for a ridiculous game of cat and mouse where the cheater invokes his/her 5th Amendment right to be free from self incrimination and not required to answer. A few thousand dollars later, that trick is eventually trumped but not until the offending spouse has ruled out any doubt in the judge’s mind that he/she is morally, as well as financially, bankrupt.

I have handled 17 years worth of divorce cases yet rarely has my client needed to show “through the peephole” type evidence in the face of a cheater’s claim of innocence. The truth is that a contested divorce takes months even years. At some point, the cheater just “comes clean” to get the divorce over and done with. Even more common, the parties having been separated by the turmoil just get a divorce based on separation. Sometimes getting a divorce is the only thing they can agree upon.

 

Timothy Conlon, Esquire for The Custody Place.

Divorce Attorneys in Frederick Maryland

OUR PHONES ARE ANSWERED 24/7

CALL US NOW AT 301-865-1101

The Custody Place

19 NORTH COURT STREET
FREDERICK MARYLAND 21701

footer

0

Adultery in Frederick Maryland, A Brief History – Sin, Crime Or Both –

Adultery Has Been Historically Defined As a Sin, A Crime Or Both

 

The famous “Kinsey Study on Sexuality” compiled evidence between 1938-1963 sampling over five thousand couples. The Study concluded that 50% of all men and 26%of all women had extramarital sexual encounters. I don’t think those numbers are going down anytime soon.  In spite of those statistics, virtually all religions and cultures threaten punishment, excommunication and even death.The Sixth of the Ten Commandments for Christians and Jews expressly names adultery and puts it right up there with killing.

The majority of religions of the world all forbid adultery with varying definitions and punishments.  Nevertheless, the secular reasoning behind the offense of adultery was not to protect the chastity of a married woman. It is widely held that the offending character of adultery was that it corrupted the purity of a husband’s “line” hence the term adultery from the term “adulterate”(v): to corrupt or spoil.

The first reported punishment for adultery was in 324 B.C. and, in an ironic twist, the offending prince was sentenced to sodomy. In 18 BC Roman Emperor Augustus intended to elevate the moral order of Rome in the eyes of the people. He therefore enacted Lex Julia de Maritandis Omnibus. Fathers were permitted to kill offending daughters and likewise husbands could kill offending wives.

In modern American culture many view the Christian Right as unwavering in opposition to what they view as aberrant sexual behavior. It is therefore ironic that the Christian Roman Emperor Constantine repealed the adultery codes of Augustus as cruel.

In Islamic Shariah Law a married person guilty of adultery is subject to death by stoning and an unmarried person is subject to 100 lashes. In case you were concerned that death by stoning was too easy on the offending spouse, the law describes the specific size of the rocks to be used lest they be too small to do real damage, or too large lest they render the victim unconscious and abbreviate his mortal suffering.

With respect to the treatment of any unmarried “home wreckers” nations, religions and cultures part ways.  Some punish only the married person and others extend punishment to the unmarried offender. The Chinese Legal Code (Republic of China) as of 11/30/11 says adultery is a crime punishable by not more than one year in jail and the married and the unmarried persons are both subject to punishment.

Adultery is a criminal offense in the US military.  The Uniform Code of Military Justice forbids adultery under the “general Article” regarding misconduct. If an unmarried soldier is involved he/she can also be subject to penalty. In India, as of August 2003, only the man who commits the adultery may be prosecuted.  However, before you cheer for their tolerance,  you should know it is because a woman is held to be something less culpable almost like a child might be.

Finally in Maryland it is a crime only for the married participant.

 

Timothy Conlon, Esquire for The Custody Place.

Custody Attorneys in Maryland

OUR PHONES ARE ANSWERED 24/7

CALL US NOW AT 301-865-1101

The Custody Place

19 NORTH COURT STREET
FREDERICK MARYLAND 21701

0

Adultery: Grounds For An Immediate Divorce In Frederick Maryland

What You Need In Frederick Maryland To Prove A Case Of Adultery:

 

Grounds for Divorce Based Upon Adultery Are the Only Statutory Grounds in Maryland that Entitle a Spouse to an Immediate Divorce Without any Waiting Period.

 

I can count on one hand the number of adultery cases I have handled where the television style proof of adultery was presented or even available.  The truth is, it’s just not usually necessary.  The truth is that people don’t usually care. In Frederick Maryland divorce and custody cases things rarely get that exciting.

Most Maryland divorce cases, which proceed from an act of adultery straight through a  Judgment of Divorce, commonly involve nothing more than a mere suspicion of adultery .  Sure, sometimes there is direct evidence left by the cheating spouse.  But, in the vast majority of cases, at some point, the cheater just “comes clean”  to get the divorce over and done with.

The legal standard to prove adultery, in Frederick or elsewhere in Maryland, does not require juicy and theatrical direct evidence such as pictures through the peephole.  The Maryland appellate courts (that is the high courts that set the rules for the family law courts) acknowledge that the act of adultery is “clandestine by nature”.  For that reason, the vast majority of successful adultery claims are proven solely with  evidence of  a) disposition and b) opportunity.

When the cheater does not acknowledge the adultery, these elements are the only evidence required.

Disposition: means you have evidence that the cheating spouse and the person with whom you suspect the adultery have a “disposition” toward affection.  An example would be someone who saw them, hugging, holding hands, dirty dancing etc.

The second element to prove an adultery in Maryland is “opportunity” for them to act upon that disposition toward affection.  An example would be spending time alone in the same hotel room, closet, pup-tent or anywhere else that two consenting adults might engage in what is described by the latin: en flagranti delecto.

So, you don’t need to spend a small fortune on private investigators or spend countless hours torturing yourself by following your spouse around, reading your spouse’s email, texts, cell phone records etc. all just to determine whom she/he is sleeping with.  Sadly, most people will do that anyway for personal reasons but beware the pitfalls.

When you try to collect evidence respecting adultery you unwittingly create an environment where your cheating spouse may be able to prove you are following them, spying on them, stalking them etc.  In my experience, spending time and effort trying to create a case for adultery is far more likely to expose you to a trumped up restraining order than it is  to be of any benefit to your case.

After all these years as a Frederick Maryland divorce and custody lawyer I have come to firmly believe in the following adage:

“If you think your spouse is chaste, you may be right.  If you think your spouse is cheating, you are definitely  right.”

 

Child Custody Attorneys in Frederick Maryland

The Custody Place

OUR PHONES ARE ANSWERED 24/7

CALL US NOW AT 301-865-1101

The Custody Place

19 NORTH COURT STREET
FREDERICK MARYLAND 21701

0

Custody Issues Part 2 (Why do marriages fail?)

Observations on Custody Issues Part 2 (Why do marriages fail?)

As a custody and divorce lawyer in Frederick, it never ceases to amaze me that when I give a presentation, a class or a seminar on divorce and custody, it always comes down to questions and answers. I get asked the following questions time after time. Men always ask “doesn’t the mother always get custody?” Women always ask “why do most marriages fail?”

I can tell you as a Frederick divorce and custody lawyer that everything I comment upon is a clear pattern. These are of course just MY observations, not a study or a survey. That being said, seventeen (17) years as a lawyer handling between sixty five (65) to one hundred (100) divorce and custody cases per year? That’s a significant sample. You may find my answers are matter of fact and unambiguous. They are. This is what I have seen for what I estimate is four thousand (4,000) days in divorce and custody court. Furthermore, these patterns are consistent with the patterns other Frederick divorce and custody lawyers have seen. What I do not claim to know is; what do the answers really mean?

“Why do most marriages fail?” That also begs an unambiguous answer: Adultery. Not even a close second. While we have to face the fact that this is the most common reason for divorce, it’s not the most common grounds for divorce. Mutual and voluntary separation for over one year is the most common grounds divorces are awarded upon. Huh?

As a Frederick divorce and custody lawyer i observe that It tends to work like this: after a period of kicking and screaming most people get divorced by agreement. They both eventually want it. So, the most common reason a divorce is granted is based upon the parties being separated for over a year.

Commonly, a divorce based on a “mutual” and “voluntary” separation usually only became “mutual” or “voluntary” after the aggrieved party got used to the idea of being divorced or reached the conclusion “I’m better off without (him/her).” Adultery is so commonly at the heart of a divorce, that frederick custody and divorce lawyers just presume somebody in the picture had or is having an affair.

The signs are different with some variation on the themes: “my spouse works late…my spouse travels alot for work…my spouse is spending more time out with friends…my spouse spends alot of time on the computer.” That being said ,I could not possibly spell out all of the signs I have seen over the years.

Nor, have I found a smoking gun that proves an adultery the majority of the time. What I can say is that intuition is always right. You can count on it like gravity. A mantra spoken to me by a senior divorce lawyer many years ago was: “if you think your spouse is faithful, you may be right.” “If you think your spouse is cheating, you are always right.” Each year I find this mantra to be more, and more, and more true.

At the end of the day, it’s a chicken or the egg question. Did the adultery occur and lead to distance in the marriage, or did distance in the marriage lead to the adultery? Someday, when I am sitting on a beach, I may consider how the causal relationship plays out. I may investigate whether what I have seen as a Frederick custody and divorce lawyer is reflective of the whole state or even the whole country. I may also find I have better things to think about. For the moment, I only offer these observations.

Timothy Conlon, Esq.  The Custody Place.

The Custody Place

 

OUR PHONES ARE ANSWERED 24/7

CALL US NOW AT

301-865-1101

THE LAW OFFICES OF TIMOTHY CONLON
19 NORTH COURT STREET
FREDERICK MARYLAND 21701
0

Site Design and Search Engine Marketing by All Saints Media - Web Design In Maryland