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Is Adultery Considered in a Divorce Case?

Monday, December 28, 2015

Posted By: Stuart N. House, P.A.

Florida is a no-fault divorce state, which means that either spouse may seek a dissolution of marriage for any reason, even if it's just because they do not wish to be married to their spouse anymore. Instead of going through the long and drawn-out process of trying to decide who is at fault for the failure of the marriage, in Florida, a petitioner could simply state that the marriage is irretrievably broken, and a no-fault divorce could be granted.

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Indirect Effects

Does adultery matter in a no-fault case? Technically, adultery wouldn't keep the divorce from taking place, and it also wouldn't result in it being listed as the cause of divorce. However, it could affect other aspects of the divorce proceedings. It's also important to note that adultery – as defined by court purposes – only occurs when a married person has sexual relations with someone other than his or her spouse. In a case of alleged adultery, the Court can and will consider the adverse financial impact of a wrongful dissipation of the assets of the marital estate. It is necessary for to provide evidence that a spouse bought expensive gifts, trips and more for a non-marital partner (paramour), as well as offering documented evidence of the alleged adultery.

Child custody

As any experienced Coral Springs divorce lawyer would likely advise clients, adultery could affect who is awarded custody of minors in a no-fault divorce case. One of the factors that is taken into consideration when deciding who receives primary custody of children is moral fitness. A spouse who has committed adultery might not be seen as morally fit to retain primary custody of the children. Therefore, if one parent could provide sufficient evidence that the other parent's adultery had or could have a negative impact on the children involved, then the adulterer's custody of the children could be limited.

Spousal support

Adultery could also affect the verdict concerning alimony. If one spouse's adultery caused the other spouse's monetary needs to be increased, then the judge might increase the amount of spousal support that the wronged spouse is entitled to receive. A Coral Springs divorce lawyer is able to assist clients in obtaining a higher amount of spousal support than they would have been able to otherwise obtain.

Property division

In a no-fault divorce state like Florida, the division of property is usually evenly divided. Florida is an equitable distribution state, but in cases where adultery can be proven, the offended spouse might receive more in the property division than the adulterer. It is necessary to provide evidence that the adultery was in some way connected with some adverse effect on the parties' finances, for example, proving that a spouse bought expensive gifts, trips, or otherwise spent marital monies for the benefit of their paramour. A local attorney would be able to assist clients in gathering the evidence that they need to prove that their adulterous spouse intentionally wasted money, which could entitle them to more during the property division proceedings.

Let a divorce attorney guide you

Even though Florida is a no-fault divorce state, it doesn't mean that the actions of spouses during the divorce are completely dismissed. While spouses don't have to prove adultery to file for a divorce in Florida, being able to prove adultery could greatly alter other outcomes of the court proceedings – from the awarding of child custody and alimony to the division of property and assets. Stuart N. House, P.A. serves clients throughout Broward County.

Child Custody Relocation Laws in Florida

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Child custody lawyers frequently see families torn apart through a divorce. Parents often have particular constraints placed on them by the court. For example, custody agreements frequently have rules regarding where the custodial parent may live. If a custodial party wishes to relocate from Coral Springs for family reasons or better job opportunities, for example, he or she likely would need to seek the court's approval. These rules protect the child and the noncustodial parent, giving the latter reasonable access for visitation.

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Every state has differing laws, rules and customs on geographic arrangements regarding child custody. In Florida, the following rules govern these arrangements. Experienced Coral Springs child custody attorneys are able to explain how these rules work in Broward County, Florida, and help draft relocation agreements.

What is "Relocation?"

Florida statutes govern only moves of more than 50 miles from the principal home of the parent or other custodial guardians. It does not address moves across town or to a neighborhood farther away as long as the distance is shorter than that limit. The statute equally applies whether the move is within Florida or to another state.

Length of relocation

Only moves greater than 60 days are addressed by the courts. Vacations and trips for medical care or education are temporary in nature and are not considered a relocation under the statutes.

Relocation by agreement

If the parents and all custodial parties agree to the relocation, the laws regarding relocation require that a document be drawn and signed by all relevant parties. This includes the custodial parent or other party and the noncustodial parent. The agreement must describe the date of the proposed move, the new time-sharing schedule and any new transportation arrangements involving the child. If there is a time-sharing schedule currently in force, the parties must seek ratification by a court order.

Petition to relocate

If the parties do not have an agreement as described above, the parent seeking to relocate must file a petition to the court for permission to move. This petition to relocate must be signed by the petitioner, attesting to its truthfulness under penalty of perjury. It should include the proposed date of the move and the address and telephone number if known. The reasons for the relocation should be part of the petition, including any written job offers. A proposal for visitation after the move should be included, along with transportation arrangements. The petition must then be legally served to the other parent and every other person who is legally entitled to visitation or time-sharing with the child.

Response to a petition

Once a parent has been legally served with a petition to relocate, he or she must respond to the court within 20 days. If the parent fails to respond to the petition, the relocation would be allowed unless the court feels it would not be in the child's best interest. It is imperative that parents respond immediately to any petition. In cases like this, a Coral Springs child custody lawyer would be able to help with a proper and timely response.

Moving a child without permission

When a parent moves a child to a new location more than 50 miles away from the approved home without the court's permission, there can be severe legal ramifications. That parent would face contempt of court and other legal proceedings.

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