Many marriages manage to survive adultery on the part of one or both spouses. Yet, yours may have crumbled if you discovered your spouse had an affair. In its aftermath, you will likely wonder how their actions will affect the outcome of your divorce. In Florida, it may depend on whether your spouse used marital assets to finance their liaisons or if their conduct harmed your children.
How Florida treats adultery
Adultery qualifies as a misdemeanor offense in Florida and is punishable by up to 60 days in jail, a fine of up to $500 or both. Yet, this law and its penalties are archaic, and state courts rarely prosecute individuals for adultery anymore. Nowadays, unfaithful spouses are more likely to face consequences in their marital settlement agreement.
Because Florida follows no-fault divorce laws, you can file without providing a reason for your marriage’s breakdown. Yet, your spouse’s adultery could still impact other parts of your proceedings. For instance, your spouse may have used marital assets to carry out their affair or indiscretions. If they did, the court may decrease their share of these as you divide them.
Florida courts also consider adultery as a factor when awarding alimony. If you or your spouse qualify for it, the value and duration of the award could depend on whether their actions caused you financial harm.
Furthermore, state courts consider a parent’s moral fitness when ruling on child custody. If your spouse’s adultery had – or could have – negative effects on your children, it might impact the share of custody or parenting time they receive.
Moving forward from adultery
While your spouse’s adultery likely hurt you, it is important to take the high road during divorce proceedings. By remaining civil, you will have an easier time fighting for an outcome that holds them accountable.