Is Adultery Considered in a Divorce Case?

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.


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