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How can adultery affect divorce outcomes in Florida?

News of celebrity marriages and divorces often fill headlines in Florida. Many Florida residents may have heard this month that Simon Cowell of “American Idol” fame has been deemed a “home-wrecker” in a divorce petition. A man is filing for divorce after his wife reportedly had an affair with Cowell and became pregnant. Cowell is named in the divorce filing.

No, this blog has not decided to become a hub for celeb news. However, this case does involve an important point that many Florida couples may need to consider when pursuing divorce. What does it matter that this woman may have committed adultery? Will that affect the divorce proceedings?

After all, like Florida, New York, which is where the suit was filed, is a no-fault state.

No-fault means that fault does not need to be considered in the granting of a divorce. In Florida, those who file for divorce simply need to prove that their marriages are beyond repair. 

However, some may choose to point to adultery because it may have an effect on the divorce settlement in some cases. For example, if a parent has committed adultery, it might reflect on his or her ability to parent and thus this has the potential to affect child custody decisions. When it comes to the division of property, an adulterer may have dwindled away marital assets on an affair, and this may reduce his or her share of marital assets.

Consequently, adultery may, in some cases, affect the outcome of divorce proceedings. While the ins and outs of this high-profile divorce will probably be revealed in the media over the course of time, many couples who contemplate divorce must consider that no-fault does not necessarily mean that issues like adultery won’t affect the proceedings.  

Source: Examiner.com, “Simon Cowell accused of being a home wrecker in close friend's divorce,” Aug.1, 2013