Adultery affects many marriages, with 25% of men and 15% of women reporting they have engaged in an extramarital affair. Some marriages rocked by one partner’s – or both partners’ – unfaithfulness can survive and become stronger in its aftermath. Yet, if your spouse cheated on you, you may feel your marriage can no longer continue. Before filing for divorce, it is important to understand the effects their adultery could have on your case.
The role of adultery in Florida divorces
Because Florida is a no-fault divorce state, you do not need grounds – aside from irreconcilable differences – to divorce your spouse. Yet, even without grounds, the court may determine that your spouse’s adultery is relevant to certain parts of your divorce. This could happen if their actions had a significant negative impact on you, your children or your property.
Likely, your spouse’s actions will not affect the share of assets they will receive in your divorce. Yet, it is possible that they dissipated your marital property to conduct their affair. In this case, the court may consider it appropriate to award your spouse a lesser share of it than in normal circumstances.
It is also unlikely your spouse’s adultery will affect the amount of parenting time the court will award them. So long as your spouse’s affair did not interfere with their ability to parent, the court will likely consider them fit to care for your children. But if your spouse neglected or endangered your children while conducting their affair, or if they carried out their affair in front of your children, the court may find that these factors should affect their share of parenting time.
Your spouse’s adultery may have an impact on alimony, though. Under Florida law, the court can consider adultery when determining the appropriate amount of alimony to award in a divorce case. Whether you or your spouse are eligible for it, their adulterous behavior could make a difference in your award’s value.
If your spouse’s adultery has caused significant harm to you, your children or your property, you may want to seek legal help. A family law attorney can evaluate your case and help you understand whether your spouse’s actions could affect its outcome.