Illinois Infidelity Against the Law

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By Matthew Searcy

WSIL -- It turns out cheating on a spouse in Illinois can cost you more than just a marriage. State law says adultery is a crime punishable by jail time. Illinois is among 21 states that still outlaw adultery.

Autumn Travelstead has been separated from her husband for three years, but still remembers his infidelities.  
 
"He was with eight different women," said Travelstead. "One girl he had went to an abandoned house close to her house.Some of them I caught him. Other things other people told me and he later admitted to."
     
She says she supports an Illinois law that puts cheaters behind bars.  
 
"It's a class A misdemeanor for adultery," explained attorney Tyler Dihle. 
 
If convicted, cheaters could face up to a year in prison, but the law is outdated.  
     
"It's not enforced," said Dihle. "The last case I could find that an appellate court actually upheld a conviction for it was in 1943." 
 
A conviction requires evidence, but proving infidelity isn't necessarily the issue.  
 
"Now with Facebook and social media and things like that it's a lot easier to discover that sort of thing," explained Dihle.  
 
The issue is prosecutors don't seem interested in enforcing the law. However, proving adultery can still be important during a divorce.   
 
"The only relevant standard for adultery is just to get grounds for the divorce and it does come into play with custody," said Dihle.  
 
Travelstead is saving up money to file for divorce. She supports bringing back enforcement of Illinois' adultery law.  
     
"There is a lot of dirt that goes along with cheating," said Travelstead. "I would agree with the law. I like it." 
 
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