After 38 years of marriage and a celebrated career as an Army General, 60-year-old David Petraeus found himself at the center of a sex scandal last month after the FBI uncovered the extramarital affair he had with biographer and West Point graduate Paula Broadwell. While federal authorities are now investigating whether the adulterous behavior of the director of the CIA could have led to a national security threat, the country remains focused on what happened between the two parties and what the scandal says about senior marriages, adultery, and divorce.

  • Adultery can deeply affect your marriage. This point seems obvious, but it is worth discussing. Infidelity affects more than half of all marriages, and many cannot stand the strain of broken trust and hurt feelings. Even the marriage of David and Holly Petraeus was generally thought of as strong and long lasting until the affair was uncovered.
  • Adultery may or may not affect your divorce. In Virginia, where the Petraeus family lives, infidelity can indeed affect the legal aspects of your divorce. In Washington State, however, no-fault divorce laws state that blame does not need to be assigned during a divorce and that an extramarital affair should not affect the division of property or the child custody case that may follow.
  • Special complications come with senior divorce. Couples are divorcing later and later in life. These gray divorces come with considerations that other couples don’t have to confront: retirement plans, adult children, second properties, health issues associated with aging, and a lifetime of assets.

Divorce and infidelity is difficult at any age, but it can come with special issues and complexities after decades of marriage – especially if you live in a no-fault divorce state. To speak to a Bellevue divorce lawyer who is familiar with the special complications that come with divorcing after many years, call family law attorney Molly B. Kenny today at 425-460-0550.

Molly B. Kenny
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Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington
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