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Active duty military - Does a cheating wife always get half, even if she has abandoned her family twice?

Havelock, NC |

I'm active duty military and plan on retiring at the end of the year. In 2007, my wife told me she was cheating on me, so we separated. She stayed in Florida and I had to transfer to NC with the kids. After 6 months or so of calls with her crying for me to take her back, I finally caved in and let her come back.

A few months ago, she told me that she wanted a divorce and moved out. I'm nearly positive that she is cheating on me again and have considered getting a real-time GPS for her vehicle so I can have proof. From the articles I have read, proof may do me no good anyway. She is gone again and I still have both kids. Our 17th anniversary was this week and I have been in the military the entire 17 years.

Could you give me some advice?

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Attorney answers 1


In North Carolina, illicit sexual behavior, or cheating, is a complete bar to an award of alimony for the dependent spouse. Proof of cheating is often hard to obtain. You may want to consult with a private detective regarding your wife's behavior. Although cheating matters when it comes to spousal support, it has no bearing on her entitlement to an equitable distribution of the marital estate.

Your military retirement is considered martial property if you made contributions during your marriage. Therefore, even though your wife has cheated on you, she will be entitled to a portion of your military retirement. These are the rules in North Carolina. You may find that after you retire, you may choose to move to another state. Other states may have different rules when it comes to marital property and fault. I would encourage you to consult with a local attorney to establish custody and visitation to make sure your children maintain some stability.

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