Infidelity & Divorce in Florida
Do I Have Grounds for Divorce in Florida?
While you do have to provide the court with a reason for your divorce, Florida is a no-fault divorce state. This means divorcing couples don’t need to prove that either party is responsible for the failure of their marriage. The state of Florida allows couples to divorce on grounds of “irretrievable brokenness” or the mental incapacity of one spouse for 3 years or more. You would cite irretrievable brokenness if your divorce is the result of infidelity.
Despite the fact that Florida is a no-fault state, infidelity could still affect the terms of your final divorce decree. If you and your spouse plan to go head-to-head over child custody and alimony, the court may factor in the reality of your extramarital affair(s) or other forms of infidelity.
Will Cheating Affect Child Custody?
It certainly can, though this is not a guarantee. The court assesses both parties in order to determine parental fitness. If the court deems you an unfit parent, your parenting time may be cut down to visitation and limited custody.
In determining parental fitness, the court evaluates each party’s relative morality and the impact their individual beliefs, decisions, and lifestyles are likely to have on the child in question. A court may determine a spouse who has engaged in illicit sexual behavior such as adultery is not morally fit to be the primary custodial parent.
As previously stated, this is not a guarantee of what will happen if you or your spouse has been unfaithful. However, you will need the help of a skilled divorce lawyer in order to help ensure an unfaithful spouse is held accountable or prevent your own affair from injuring your chances at a desirable custody agreement.
(This is especially true if you are in a romantic relationship with someone other than your spouse during the time of your divorce. If this sounds like you, it is imperative that you consult with an attorney to protect yourself and avoid the classic pitfalls of dating during divorce.)
Will an Affair Affect Alimony and Property Division?
As with child custody, infidelity can certainly change the landscape of your divorce trial. Because alimony and property division are more about money and less about morality, the court is likely to consider the ways an affair has led to unethical use, misuse, or abuse of shared property and assets. A Florida court could determine that facilitating an extramarital affair with family money is a waste of shared assets. As such, the offending party could be required to pay more substantial alimony or given a lesser portion of shared property, as a punitive measure.
Worried that Adultery Will Negatively Impact the Outcome of Your Divorce? Call (800) 822-5170 to Get Answers.
At The Virga Law Firm, P.A., we are here to help you navigate the complexities of divorce that can come up when infidelity is in the mix. Our aggressive divorce attorneys are on your side, whether you are concerned that your own infidelity will hurt you in your divorce or want to hold an unfaithful spouse accountable for the damage done. In either case, you will need a skilled legal representative to help you work toward the outcome you want in your divorce.
Schedule your complimentary consultation with one of our skilled lawyers today.