Even though Florida is a no-fault state, ridding the necessity to pin blame on either spouse, faults still stand to affect the outcome of divorce settlements. Extramarital affairs present reasonable cause to increase alimony and influence custody decisions.
Adultery and Alimony
Alimony is typically decided based on one spouse’s financial need and the other spouse’s ability to make payments to provide adequate support. While this accounts for whether alimony is awarded at all, further considerations may be considered to determine the amount awarded, such as:
- Length of the relationship
- Standard of living during the relationship
- Age of each spouse
- Mental and physical health of each spouse
- Contributions to the marriage
Under Florida law, adultery can be considered when making alimony decisions. It’s important to note that this is not intended to be a tool of punishment to the guilty spouse. Instead, it offers the court an additional factor to evaluate and understand the financial impact this affair had on the marriage. For example, if a spouse used and exhausted shared funds in their affair, it could effectively increase an alimony award.
To prove adultery and its financial impact, it is important to be diligent in collecting incriminating paper trails. Relevant proof includes:
- Bank statements
- Photos of the spouse and their other partner on a trip or doing something expensive with the money from your shared account
- Receipts from any purchases for the affair
- Sale of any shared property to maintain the affair
Our lawyers can help you uncover the evidence necessary to use adultery to show the financial hardships it inflicted and increase alimony because of it.
Adultery and Custody
Adultery alone will not disqualify a parent from achieving custody or visitation. Rather, it can be used as a base to show if a parent is unfit to be the primary guardian. If an extramarital affair caused one parent to neglect their parental duties, such as making them late to pick up the child, it could be used against them in court.
If adultery was a factor in your decision to divorce, contact one of our lawyers to shine light on the situation and all its effects to reach a divorce settlement that benefits you and your children.