Adultery in Florida Divorce cases

Adultery in Florida Divorce Cases: What does adultery mean in Florida, How does adultery affect divorce in Florida? Does adultery have any impact on distribution of marital assets? How adultery impacts Alimony. How adultery affects Child custody and visitation.

Adultery in Florida Divorce Cases
Adultery in Florida Divorce Cases

Knowing your partner is cheating on you is heart-wrenching. And divorce only adds to the pain. Often marriages survive through adultery, but it is hard to trust a person again; who broke it once. 

However, if you have made up your mind; to end your marriage, knowing the law helps you act in your best interest. 

Let’s delve deeper into the meaning and impact of adultery on Florida divorce cases.

What does adultery mean in Florida

Adultery is a legal term that denotes extramarital affairs. Florida law does not define adultery explicitly, but in court, language adultery means voluntary sexual intercourse between a married man or woman with another person not being their legally wedded partner. 

In short, adultery is an act where one spouse indulges in a sexual relationship outside marriage.

Like most states, adultery is an illegal act in Florida. Florida law prohibits married couples from engaging in sex outside their marriage bed.

According to Fla. Stat. Ann. § 798.01, a person who commits adultery may get prosecuted for a second-degree misdemeanour. Although adultery is punishable in the Florida law books, it rarely gets prosecuted. 

However, adultery has exceptional advantages in the divorce process; when determining the key issues.

How does adultery affect divorce in Florida?

Florida has a no-fault divorce policy, which means that the parties to the marriage are not required to prove guilt or cause for the dissolution of the marriage

However, parties can seek divorce only when the marriage gets irretrievably broken; or one of the parties is mentally incapacitated for at least; 3 years before the divorce petition gets filed.

Thus, Florida law outlaws adultery to obtain a divorce. But that doesn’t mean that adultery doesn’t matter in your divorce process.

Although adultery does not have a direct impact on divorce cases, it can aid in the divorce process. The key issues such as alimony, property division, and child custody get significantly affected by adultery.

However, simply alleging that your partner committed adultery is not enough. You need to provide evidence to support your claim and prove the adultery beyond any reasonable doubt.

Does adultery have any impact on distribution of marital assets?

The main issue during divorce is the distribution of property between couples. Couples live together and share everything. But when they decide to get a divorce, distribution becomes the main issue.

Florida has an equitable distribution policy which means that the law assumes that both parties to the marriage have contributed equally to property and debts.

Thus they should receive a fair and equal share of marital assets, including debts. Any separate property acquired by the spouses before marriage is not included in the marital assets.

However, judges consider several factors while distributing the marital assets between spouses like the contribution of each spouse to marriage and child care, economic circumstances, the sacrifice of career or education of either spouse, etc. 

Additionally, courts take into consideration the adulterous act of either party. 

However, if the court finds out that the guilty spouse depleted marital funds on the extramarital affair for buying gifts for their lover, paying house or apartment rent of their lover, movie tickets, money spent on vacation with lover, and hotel bills. The court can do away with the equitable distribution notion and grant a larger portion of the marital property to compensate the innocent spouse.

However, the alleged party has to prove that the other party depleted the marital fund during its extramarital affair.

How adultery impact Alimony: Adultery in Florida Divorce cases

Alimony, also known as spousal support, is court-ordered financial aid from one spouse to another during or after legal separation or divorce. Alimony is provided to the non-earning or less-earning spouse to maintain the same lifestyle they had during the marriage. 

The court may award alimony if the needy spouse demonstrates the need for financial support. Courts consider several factors while determining; the type, amount, and duration of alimony. One of those factors is adultery. 

Florida law allows judges to consider the adulterous behaviour of either party during the marriage when determining the appropriate amount of alimony. But the court will consider adultery only if the adulterous act of the spouse results in depletion of marital funds for buying gifts, payment for dinner dates, movie tickets, going on vacations, hotel bills, and other luxuries bills for the person with whom adultery committed.

Thus, adultery can benefit you in receiving a large amount of alimony.

How adultery affects Child custody and visitation

When a marriage ends, children born out of the marriage; get affected the most. While deciding upon the child custody and visitation issue, courts consider child welfare the most crucial factor. It gets resolved in the best interest of the child. 

And to do so, judges consider each parent’s fitness for custody.

According to Fla. Stat. Ann. § 61.13, Judges should consider the parent’s moral fitness as a factor when deciding the child custody issue and visitation during a divorce.

Here, the innocent spouse can question the parental fitness of another spouse based on adultery.

Although extramarital affairs do not waive parents’ right to child custody and visitation, the innocent party can prove that the adultery had or will likely hurt the child and that the guilty party is ineligible for child custody.

If the court gets satisfied that either party’s adulterous act has a negative effect on the child’s mental health, the court may decide the custody case in favour of the innocent spouse.

Thus, proving your spouse’s extramarital affair can benefit you in securing custody of your child and limiting the visitation period of the guilty spouse.

Is it necessary to prove adultery in a divorce in Florida?

It is not necessary to prove adultery in a divorce in Florida. Florida is a no-fault divorce state, which means you do not need to allege or prove fault by either spouse to get a divorce.

It is important to note that each case is unique and it is advisable to consult an experienced family law attorney for personalized advice on any Florida adultery and divorce concerns.

Wrapping up: Adultery in Florida Divorce cases

Whether you are the one who committed adultery or the one who got cheated on your partner, knowing how adultery impacts your divorce proceedings will help you think in your best interest.

However, consulting an experienced and well-known attorney is the best bet. An attorney can guide and support you in taking advantage of your partner’s adulterous act in your best interest.

Read also: Grounds for divorce in Florida; Adultery Laws in Florida: is it illegal?; Can you go to jail for infidelity in Florida?; Divorce in Florida; Does adultery affect divorce in Florida?

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