7 states where adultery is a crime


Adultery is not only a crime in the eyes of your spouse, in some states, it is actually against the law. In most states, adultery is defined as sexual relation between a married person and another other than their spouse and the punishment varies from one state to another. Here are 7 states where cheaters are fined and even locked up for several years.

  1. Illinois

In Illinois, any person who has sexual intercourse with another who is not his or her spouse commits adultery if the behavior is notorious and open.

The punishment for adultery in Illinois is up to three years jail time for both cheaters.

  1. Florida

In Florida, adultery is a second-degree misdemeanor. The law states that: Anyone who lives in an open state of adultery is guilty of second-degree misdemeanor and is punishable as per s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. Where either of the party living in open adultery is married, both parties shall be deemed guilty of the offense provided in this section.

Cohabitation is also listed in this law. So, anyone living with another and they are not married is also breaking the law.

In Florida, cheaters can either be charged up to $500 fine or spend up to two months in jail.

  1. Alabama

Similar to the other states, Alabama adultery law requires the element of having sexual relation with a married person. It also adds cohabitation requirement. However, it provides a curious loophole:

A person does not commit adultery if he believes that he or the other party is unmarried. However, this does not change the burden of proof. This defense is known as I forgot I was married’.

  1. Minnesota

Minnesota criminalizes adultery only when a married woman is involved. When a married woman has sexual relation with a man other than her husband, both parties are guilty of adultery and can be imprisoned to not more than a year or made to pay a fine of not more than $3000 or both.

Not knowing the marital status of the woman at the time of the act of adultery is a defense to violation of this law section.

  1. Michigan

It is a felony to engage in adulterous behavior in Michigan. Similar to Minnesota, men are not allowed by law to mess with married women and vice versa. It states that: When an unmarried man and a married woman have sexual relations, the man shall be guilty of adultery and is liable to punishment.

Since adultery in Michigan is classified as a felony, a guilty person can be sentenced to life imprisonment.

  1. New York

Adultery in New York is a class B misdemeanor. A person is guilty of adultery if he or she engages in sexual relations with another person at the time he has a living spouse or the other party has a living spouse.

Class B misdemeanors are punishable by up to $500 fine or 90 days jail time. However, adultery cases in Ney York requires some corroboration.

  1. Mississippi

Mississippi defines adultery as sexual relation of either spouse with another person other than his or her spouse.

Cohabitation is also considered as adultery in Mississippi.

Cheaters are fined not more than $500 or a jail time of not more than six months.

Notes and References:

adultery laws

divorce process

adultery on Wikipedia

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