Adultery can have a significant impact on a divorce case. Adultery can lead to feelings that can hugely impact the divorce process. For example, the “innocent” party may be filled with anger. But can adultery impact a divorce case from a legal standpoint? For instance, can adultery affect alimony decisions? Many Floridians assume that because Florida is a no-fault divorce state, infidelity does not impact alimony decisions. However, this is not entirely true. Under some circumstances, adultery can affect alimony decisions in Florida.
When Can Adultery Affect Alimony Decisions?
In Florida, the courts consider several factors when making alimony decisions. According to Florida Statute 61.08, the following are some of the factors that Florida courts consider when making alimony decisions;
- The marriage’s duration
- Each party’s health and age
- The living standard established in marriage
- Each party’s financial resources
- Each party’s educational levels, capabilities, employability, and vocational skills
- Each party’s contribution to the marriage
- The sources of income available to each party
- Each party’s responsibility towards any children
Florida law also states that the court may consider a spouse’s adultery in determining the amount of alimony to be awarded. However, the act of adultery in itself does not impact an alimony order. Adultery is usually considered when determining alimony if the “guilty” spouse dissipated marital assets.
Dissipation of marital assets occurs when a cheating spouse depletes or squanders marital finances. If an unfaithful spouse misspends marital funds in support of their extramarital affair, the dissipation of marital assets has occurred. For example, a cheating spouse could misspend marital funds in support of their adulterous relationship through the following;
- Buying gifts for their lover using marital funds
- Paying rent for their lover using marital funds
- Paying for vacations with their affair partner using marital funds
- Paying for dinner dates with their lover using marital funds
When a cheating spouse dissipates marital assets, the court may find that the “innocent” spouse’s financial situation was adversely affected. If a cheating spouse dissipates marital assets and damages the other spouse’s financial situation, the court may decide that the “innocent” spouse needs to be compensated. However, alimony cannot compensate a wronged spouse for the emotional distress they suffered as a result of the extramarital affair.
Proving Your Spouse Engaged in an Affair That Damaged Your Financial Situation
You need to gather evidence to prove that your spouse engaged in an extramarital affair that damaged your financial situation. The following are some of the pieces of evidence that can help you prove your spouse engaged in an extramarital affair that damaged your financial situation;
- Bank records
- Hotel receipts
- Pictures from vacations
- Purchase of expensive gifts
You may want to hire an experienced family attorney to help you uncover hidden transactions related to your spouse’s extramarital affair.
Challenging Your Spouse’s Adultery Allegations
If your spouse falsely claims you committed adultery and used marital funds on your affair partner, all hope is not lost. A qualified family attorney can help you fight false accusations of dissipation of marital assets.
Contact an Alimony Attorney in Florida
If you need help with an alimony-related matter, contact an experienced Florida alimony attorney at the Tampa Bay Legal Center, P.A.