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Does Adultery Matter in a Divorce?

When divorcing in Florida, you don’t have to have a specific reason for filing for divorce. Instead, just one spouse has to want the divorce for it to happen. Then, the courts will decide if the marriage is beyond repair or not, informing their decision on the divorce. This process is a part of Florida’s “no-fault” divorce state, which means that there is no assertion of who is at fault for the separation.

However, when one spouse commits adultery, it is easy to blame the separation on them. If your spouse cheated on you while married, you might also feel that you deserve more out of the separation. They were unloyal, after all. Yet, due to Florida’s “no-fault” divorce state, adultery does not necessarily factor into the courts’ decisions about the divorce.

We here at Orshan, Spann & Fernandez-Mesa understand that divorce can be a long and complex process, only further complicated when adultery is involved. Keep reading our blog to learn more about how infidelity impacts divorce and how a lawyer can help your Florida case.

When Adultery Plays a Role

As mentioned above, adultery does not typically play a role in the court’s decision-making process regarding divorce in Florida. However, there are specific circumstances that impact legal proceedings. For example, the unfaithful spouse may spend excessive money on their secret partner and their family. If the adulterer used marital funds or assets throughout the affair, the judge will consider the money spent when proceeding through divorce hearings.

Another instance in which adultery plays a role in court cases is when non-cheating spouse experiences harm in some shape, way, or form. When catching a partner in a lie, emotions can run high, leading to physical outbursts. If the non-cheating spouse does experience harm somehow, the courts will take this into account when making important decisions regarding the separation.

The Impact of Adultery

Now that there is an understanding of when adultery becomes relevant in Florida divorce court, it is also valuable to acknowledge how infidelity impacts other facets of divorce.

Estate & Asset Division

Typically, the judge strives to divide marital assets as close to 50/50 as possible. However, when the cheating spouse makes life extremely difficult for their ex-partner, whether through physical harm or stealing funds, the courts are more likely to allocate more assets in favor of the non-cheating spouse.

Child Custody

Child custody is one factor affected by adultery. When a judge determines child custody in a case, the parent’s morals and actions are considered. Depending on the circumstances of the adultery committed, sometimes the non-cheating spouse is given more child custody rights.

Alimony Payments

Alimony payments are also directly affected by adultery during the divorce process. As mentioned above, sometimes, the cheating spouse will spend excessive amounts of marital funds during their infidelity. Florida courts view this as unfair to the non-cheating spouse, as cheating spouse made decisions about shared assets without permission. Typically, the judge will agree with the motion that the cheating spouse makes alimony payments.

How a Lawyer Can Help

Just because Florida classifies as a “no-fault” state does not mean that adultery can occur without consequence. Non-cheating spouses can experience severe impacts from infidelity, even beyond realizing that their partner was unfaithful. Sometimes they find out that saved funds are missing, or they possibly experience harm.

Non-cheating spouses may also not be aware of what is occurring in their spouse’s affair. This is when the help of a legal representative is valuable. Not only will they support you in court, but they will also help identify if your spouse has gone beyond just cheating. Your legal representative can also ensure that you have appropriate evidence to support your claims.

Contact Us at Orshan, Spann & Fernandez-Mesa

If you feel as though you deserve more out of your divorce, contact us at Orshan, Spann & Fernandez-Mesa for a legal team that has your back. We can help you navigate your separation and secure the outcome that you deserve.