Is Adultery Relevant to the Reason for Divorce or Equitable Dissolution in FL?

Since Florida is a “no fault” divorce state, either party may file for divorce without having to prove a reason other than fact that the two individuals just don’t want to be married anymore. They state that the marriage is “irretrievably broken” and the court is off the hook for determining who is at fault.

Due to the fact that Florida is a “no fault” state, adultery is not a relevant reason for divorce or equitable dissolution. Just because it is not a relevant reason for divorce does not mean that adultery won’t affect the divorce. The truth is, adultery can affect child custody, property division, and spousal support.

When the court is contemplating the custody decision, one of the factors they look at is “moral fitness”. If one parent can prove that the other parent’s adultery had, or is having an impact on the child, the judge might decide to limit the custody or visitation of the parent who committed adultery.

Florida is an equitable distribution state, which means that the marital assets and liabilities should, in theory, be evenly divided. Adultery may have an affect on equitable distribution because if one spouse can prove that the other has intentionally wasted the marital assets, such has giving gifts, going on trips, paying rent or car payments, and buying dinner for the non-marital partner, the court may reduce the adulterer’s share of the marital assets.

Finally, in Florida, adultery is listed as a factor that should be considered when determining alimony, but the line is a little fuzzy since Florida is a “no fault” state. The main thing to know is that the judge will only increase the wronged spouse’s alimony if the adulterous behavior increases that spouse’s monetary needs.

This post was written by David Hurvitz. Follow David on Google+.