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Infidelity, money and divorce

The high cost of marital infidelity may be getting even higher. At the same time, affairs are occurring more and more often.

Currently, about one out of five people admit to stepping out on their spouses -- and many people blame social media for the rising trouble. More than 80 percent of divorce attorneys say that social network sites are an increasing factor in the breakdown of marital relationships.

Sites like Facebook make it easy to connect with old flames and high school sweethearts -- but that isn't nearly as bad as some other sites. There are sites out there like Ashley Madison and DiscreetAdventures that advertise directly to people who want to seek relationships outside of the bonds of their marriage.

However, anyone tempted to cheat on their spouse should be aware of one important fact: Affairs are expensive. If they end up causing a divorce, they can be very costly.

Take for example the expenses listed by one man who is seeing a woman outside of his marriage. It costs him $25 in gas money every time he visits his partner and between $75 to $100 for a hotel room for their trysts. A recent night out at a casino cost $110 for the evening, and he spent $100 on gifts. Nationally, that's about the norm. The average affair ends up costing about $444 per month.

However, that figure doesn't include the cost of a divorce. Just as modern technology has made it easier to find someone other than your spouse for romance, it's also made it easier for spouses to find out about their husbands' or wives' affairs. Given that the average divorce these days can run around $15,000 -- plus permanently divide your income and assets -- that's a pretty hefty price to pay for an affair.

In addition, a jilted spouse may have a legitimate claim to a larger share of the marital assets if their other half has been caught cheating. The money that was spent on an affair can be considered "marital waste," or an unfair expenditure of the household money for which the wronged spouse should be compensated.

If your spouse's affair has driven you to the brink of divorce, don't act rashly. Forethought and planning can often give you better results in a divorce. An experienced attorney can provide valuable guidance.

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