How to Tell Your Spouse May Be Cheating – And How to Prove it

Perhaps the most stressful revelation in a marriage is that the other spouse is cheating. While not everything can be taken as proof of infidelity, there are some common signs. When adultery leads to divorce, there are serious consequences for alimony, property and debt division, and more. But sensing there is infidelity is different from proving it. If you think your spouse may be cheating, and it becomes necessary to prove it, turn to an experienced Greenville, SC divorce attorney.

Every marriage is different, and every spouse has his or her own idiosyncrasies. Therefore, you cannot assume that any single behavior is necessarily indicative of infidelity. But there are some tell-tale signs. The more of these that exist, the more likely it is your spouse is cheating:

More arguments (or none at all). You could be experiencing more arguments, and more severe ones, if your spouse is interested in someone new. Or, there might not be any arguments at all. Perhaps the other spouse has mentally and emotionally checked out of the marriage and simply doesn’t care.

Less intimacy (or more). Infidelity has a curious effect on physical intimacy. For some spouses, they are having their sexual needs met elsewhere and no longer turn to you. But having an affair can also increase a spouse’s sex drive.

Changes in behavior. More generally, unusual changes in behavior could suggest possible adultery. This is especially true where the changes are sudden or extreme. A partner can become more distant, can start overcompensating (to account for guilty feelings), and more. Adultery changes a person and changes his or her behaviors.

Changes in appearance. If your husband or wife suddenly shows more interest in his or her appearance, it may be natural. But drastic changes could suggest something is wrong. This could include sudden weight loss due to more exercise, dressing better, and other personal adjustments.

Secretive behavior. A spouse who is cheating has something to hide, and you may spot signs of it. Perhaps he or she frequently takes phone calls in another part of the house. Or you find another cell phone used to make clandestine calls. The unfaithful spouse may also start hiding phone and financial records which could provide evidence of cheating.

These and many more behaviors may warrant further investigation. If you have suspicions, consider discussing them with a Greenville, SC divorce attorney. You may be able to hire a private investigator to substantiate (or disprove) your fears. If there’s clear evidence of adultery, it’s probably a good idea to talk to a lawyer sooner rather than later.

Proof of infidelity could disqualify a spouse from receiving alimony. This is even true if the spouse who cheated would otherwise qualify for support. And while infidelity alone will usually not affect equitable distribution of property and debts, it could play a role. An example is if the court determines one spouse wasted marital assets pursuing an illicit affair. Working with your Greenville, SC divorce attorney, how do you prove adultery?

You do not necessarily need direct proof, such as from an eyewitness or by photographic evidence. Although these can certainly help, South Carolina courts recognize that direct evidence is difficult to find in extramarital affairs. You may be able to establish infidelity through circumstantial evidence, including by way of some of the above signs. Sometimes the evidence includes written statements or unusual financial transactions. Every case is different, so talk to your Greenville, SC divorce attorney about proving your spouse cheated.

In South Carolina, you must show the following to demonstrate adultery:

  • Motive – that the other spouse was inclined to engage in sexual relations or sexual intimacy with another
  • Opportunity – that the other spouse was in a position to actually cheat

These standards are complicated and can be difficult to prove. A Greenville, SC divorce attorney experienced in adultery and infidelity can walk you through them.


If you have reason to believe your spouse is cheating, it is up to you how you will handle it. Some spouses confront the issue and are able to work through the difficulty of infidelity through counseling. Others cannot repair their marriage and will end up in divorce. In that case, the cheating will have an impact on what a judge decides. Greenville Family Law can work with you to prove infidelity and demand your rights under law. Let us get started on your case today.

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