Can Adultery Change the Outcome of a Florida Divorce?

Learning that your spouse has cheated on you can be a devastating emotional blow, especially if you just had a child together or have spent decades of your life committed to one another.

It is common for the victim of an adulterous spouse to want some sort of justice, and seeking it in divorce court is a common strategy. Can you ask the Florida courts to penalize your spouse for their infidelity?

Adultery Won’t Matter When It Comes to Custody

If you have minor children and your spouse cheated on you, you may hate the idea of them getting to spend time with your children and, worse, introducing the person that they cheated with to your children.

In most cases, the Florida courts will want to preserve parental relationships with no consideration for misconduct unless it endangers the children. You probably can’t ask for sole custody just because your spouse cheated or even ask the courts to keep them away from your kids unless they have a history of abuse or dangerous behavior.

Adultery Could Affect How the Courts Split Up Your Property

In many states that use the equitable distribution standard, like Florida, the law specifically forbids the courts from considering spousal misconduct when dividing marital property. However, in Florida, judges can consider any factors that are relevant to an equitable outcome when deciding how to split up marital assets during a divorce. In some cases, an affair could have an impact on what the judge deems reasonable and fair. If your spouse spent marital assets on their affair, you may be able to claim dissipation.

Wasting household resources on something that damages the marital union deprives you of its value. If you can show that your spouse was paying rent on an apartment or buying jewelry for someone else, those expenses could influence the outcome of the property division process in your divorce.

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