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Does Adultery Impact a Divorce?

Infidelity in a marriage can lead to a great deal of hurt, an irreparable breach of trust, and anger. If your spouse has been having an affair and you are considering initiating divorce proceedings, you may be flabbergasted upon hearing that Florida is a “no fault” divorce state. After all, many spouses want to openly place the blame on an unfaithful spouse for causing the irreparable rift in their marriage. Let’s be clear, however, on what “no fault” means in terms of divorce. Back in the 70s, Florida became a “no fault” divorce state which means that a spouse seeking a divorce has no obligation to assert and prove a particular basis for the divorce. The spouse need only assert that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” No blame need be placed or proven which is why it is called a “no fault” divorce.

While something such as adultery need not be asserted and proved to get a divorce in Florida, you may still be left wondering whether your spouse’s affair will have any impact on the divorce proceedings. Adultery can, in fact, become relevant on a number of levels during an ongoing divorce.

Does Adultery Impact a Divorce?

Adultery in and of itself will have no impact on a divorce. A spouse having an affair is not relevant to divorce proceedings unless there are other key factors present. For instance, if a significant amount of financial resources were spent in the pursuit and carrying on of the affair and if the other spouse was financially impacted by the affair, then the affair would have impacts on multiple issues incident to the divorce. Mainly, the affair would likely impact the division of the marital property and alimony.

In an affair, a person could spend a substantial amount of money buying jewelry, traveling, purchasing expensive gifts, purchasing real estate, and more. If you can prove that your spouse spent money in order to perpetuate the affair, then a court may grant that the money spent on the affair be divided and added back into your entitlement concerning the marital assets. Conversely, the court would subtract the money from your spouse’s entitlement as they were responsible for the marital waste or “dissipation” of those assets.

An affair may also be taken into account when a court decides on whether or not to grant alimony. Florida law states that a court may consider the adultery of a spouse and the circumstances surrounding the adultery when determining an alimony award. If an affair caused the spouse who was not engaging in the affair to suffer financially, then the court may include this factor in determining the alimony award. A spouse may be financially impacted by an affair their spouse is carrying on if the spouse engaging in the affair depleted marital funds by buying or renting an apartment for the affair partner, buying expensive gifts, going on vacation with the affair partner, and more.

Florida Family Law Attorneys

Has your spouse been unfaithful and are you ready to pursue a divorce? At Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou, we will protect and pursue your best interests throughout divorce proceedings. Contact us today.