Adultery is often cited as one of the leading causes of
divorce so if your marriage has fallen apart because someone cheated, you have
plenty of company. As you head down the road toward divorce, it’s
only natural for you to wonder, “Does cheating impact alimony in
Florida?” Each state handles infidelity differently; some states,
such as Texas, highly frown upon adultery while others are not that concerned
unless it involved marital waste.
In California for example, if a spouse were to accuse their husband or
wife of cheating and if they tried to use the infidelity as a reason to
deny spousal support, it would fall on deaf ears. But what about Florida?
If a cheating spouse is asking the court for alimony, can it be denied
on the bases of infidelity? Read on as we explain how adultery impacts
alimony awards in a Florida divorce.
Adultery Can Be Considered
In Florida, alimony is covered under
Section 61.08 of the Florida Statutes. Under Sec. 61.08(1), it says this about infidelity:
“The court may consider the adultery of either spouse and the circumstances
thereof in determining the amount of alimony, if any, to be awarded.”
While the court
may consider adultery, it doesn’t mean that alimony will automatically
be denied if the lower-earning spouse cheated – it’s just
one of the factors considered when making a decision. So, while it can
be considered, there is no guarantee that infidelity will lead to the
denial of an alimony award.
In addition to adultery, the court will consider the following:
- The length of the marriage
- The standard of living enjoyed during the couple’s marriage
- The age and health of each spouse
- Each spouse’s financial resources and assets
- Each spouse’s earning capacity, education level, and vocational skills
- The contribution of each spouse during the marriage, including childcare,
homemaking, and career-building for the other spouse
When there has been adultery, the court is mainly interested in the financial
impact of cheating. For instance, if a cheating husband took his girlfriend
on lavish vacations disguised as “work trips” or if he bought
her plastic surgery or paid her bills for a year, the court will consider
it to be “marital waste” because he used marital assets to
fund his affair.
To learn more about adultery and its impact on alimony,
contact R. Gregory Colvin, LLC.