How does Adultery Affect My Divorce?
Many clients come to Filler Rodriguez LLP with the question: “How does adultery affect my divorce?” Florida became a “no fault” divorce state in 1976. Many people believe that no fault divorce means that a spouse can somehow be rewarded for committing adultery. That is not the case.
No fault divorce simply means that a spouse seeking a divorce no longer has to prove a basis for divorce other than the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” Irretrievably broken can be established simply by one spouse saying that the marriage is irretrievably broken. The next question remains common at Filler Rodriguez “how does adultery affect my divorce?”
The short answer to how does adultery affect my divorce is; it depends. If a spouse committed adultery and spent no money while engaged in adultery, then the adultery may have no effect on the divorce.
However, if a spouse committed adultery and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on their adulterous affair then that money could be considered “dissipation” or marital waste.
When asking how does adultery affect my divorce, you should consider whether your spouse has purchased real estate, vehicles or expensive jewelry as part of their adulterous affair. If this can be proven you may be entitled to claw back the money to be divided and added back to your entitlement in dividing assets and subtract that money from your spouse’s entitlement since they squandered it on an adulterous affair.
Another response to how does adultery affect my divorce is in terms of alimony. In Florida Section 61.08 (1), Florida Statutes governs alimony. That alimony sections states that “The court may consider the adultery of either spouse and the circumstances thereof in determining the amount of alimony, if any, to be awarded.” Here is an example of how does adultery affect my divorce? A client earns $150,000 a year and the other spouse stayed home during the marriage. There were no children and it was a 6-year marriage. Both spouses are in their 30s. The evidence shows that the stay-at-home spouse began an online affair with a person in France and traveled to France several times during the marriage claiming to go to look for work. The working spouse remained working and also had to visit their terminally ill parent in the hospital while the other spouse was engaging in the adulterous affair in France not working and spending marital funds. The court did not err in refusing to award the stay-at-home spouse any alimony under the facts of that case.