The Role of Infidelity in Divorce

Ever since 1971, Florida’s laws regarding divorce have followed the “no-fault” system, much like many other states in the U.S. According to no-fault, you can get divorced for one of two possible reasons: (1) your spouse suffers from an incapacitating mental illness or (2) irreconcilable differences between you and your spouse have so badly damaged your marriage that it can’t be saved.

Before the no-fault system, there were nine bases for obtaining a divorce in Florida, including criminal convictions, abandonment, cruelty and adultery. While indefinitely is no longer grounds for divorce, it can be considered in court, and depending on evidence, may be used to alter decisions related to child support, alimony, division of property, and quite possibly even child custody.

Division of Property

While Florida courts generally divide marital property in a fair and equitable manner, they have a great deal of discretion in making this decision. Adultery can indeed have an impact on division of property, if for example, the adulterous spouse spent large amounts of money on their lover. A court can take that into consideration and award the non-cheating spouse a greater share of property.

Child Support & Alimony

If an adulterous spouse uses the joint account to buy their lover lavish gifts and take them on vacation, the courts may find sufficient evidence to make the adulterous spouse pay alimony or increase the amount. At the same time, this can also increase the cost of child support for the cheating spouse.

Child Custody

Finally, a court will look at several factors, such as relationships, abuse, alcohol and drugs and more when deciding on child custody. Although adultery is not a factor the courts will look at, the “moral fitness of the parents” is, which can result in the court awarding the cheating parent less time.

If you are thinking about or are going through a divorce, contact The Virga Law Firm, P.A. We have over 40 years of combined experience in child custody, property division, spousal support and more.

Call (800) 822-5170 or contact us online today.