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Taking difficult steps after your spouse's affair

No matter how long or short your marriage has been, you likely know your spouse well enough to recognize when something was different. Maybe he or she was more attentive to you, or perhaps you felt your spouse growing cold and more distant. Did your spouse work longer hours, become more secretive about his or her cellphone, or act more nervous than usual? You may have dismissed your suspicions, but now you are more convinced that your spouse may be cheating on you.

Whether you have found incriminating messages, your spouse has confessed or you just have a strong feeling, you have many difficult decisions to make. Infidelity does not necessarily mean the end of a marriage, but if often signals an irreparable breach of trust. You would be wise to protect yourself by obtaining as much information as possible about your options.

Finding the truth

Unless your spouse has admitted being unfaithful, your first step may be obtaining proof of an affair. This may include checking credit card receipts, phone logs or GPS history, but it may also mean hiring a private investigator. Even without a report from a PI, you may have enough circumstantial evidence to confront your spouse. This is something you will want to do calmly and rationally for the best chances of getting the truth from your spouse.

Your spouse may be contrite and desire to save the marriage, but if he or she has no intention of ending the affair, your next move may be to get some legal advice. If the marriage is over, you will want to think about your future, and this includes your financial security. An unfaithful spouse may also be using marital assets to fund the affair. This may include trips, gifts and other expenses paid for with money you have a rightful claim to.

Reaching out

Infidelity is a painful betrayal, and you may feel it is your right to spread this story far and wide. However, for your own peace of mind, it is smart to surround yourself only with those who can sympathize without allowing you to wallow in negativity. Keep your circle of confidantes small, and ask them to help you move forward with dignity.

However, you will want to fight for your fair share of marital assets and debts, and your Washington attorney can assist you in examining the level of dissipation your spouse may have engaged in with the other person. Having a legal advocate by your side as soon as possible can provide many benefits at this difficult time.

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