Under Florida divorce law, Florida is a “no-fault” state, which means either party can ask the court for a divorce without proving the specific reasoning behind seeking the divorce. The spouse seeking a divorce simply needs to state that the marriage is “irretrievably broken” thus relieving the courts of deciding who was at fault and sparing both parties having to talk about personal issues like adultery in court. With no-fault divorce, adultery is not as big a factor in Tampa divorce cases as it once was, but it may still make a difference regarding the details of your divorce judgment. Today, Attorney Christina Anton Garcia explains how adultery may affect your divorce in Florida.
What Is No Fault Divorce?
There was a time that a couple couldn’t have a divorce granted except under a catastrophic breach of the marriage contract which included adultery, abandonment, and mistreatment like physical abuse.
With no fault divorce in Florida, couples can divorce because of “irreconcilable differences”-an intentionally vague term to mean that the person(s) no longer wish to be married to each other.
The “no-fault” means that a judge no longer has to spend time determining which party was at fault for the breakdown of the marriage. A no fault divorce acts as an acknowledgment that a marriage’s success or failure takes two.
When Adultery Does Matter
All married couples in Florida have the right to divorce and evidence that one spouse had an affair may affect the court’s decision on child custody, property division, and alimony payments. For information for your specific case or circumstances, contact a Tampa divorce lawyer.
In Florida family law, judges must make decisions pertaining to child custody based on the child’s best interest. Under the “moral fitness” factor (Florida Statute 61.13), proving that your spouse’s extramarital affair(s) are a pattern of irresponsible behavior may result in a judge granting your spouse less time with the children.
Equitable distribution is decided by Florida Statute 61.075 and starts with the premise that all the assets and liabilities should be divided fairly in a divorce case. Intentional misuse of marital property (misconduct), may lead the court to favor the spouse who did not commit adultery in property division decisions.
Gifts, trips, apartment rent, car payments, and more for an extra-marital partner are considered a waste of marital assets. To learn how adultery affects divorce in Florida regarding division of property in your case, contact a Tampa, FL divorce lawyer.
Another way that adultery affects divorce in Florida is alimony. Florida divorce laws specifically list adultery as a factor that may be considered in determining the amount of spousal support. Additionally, testimony relating to the affair is considered material evidence that may be used in the court’s decision to grant or deny alimony. If you entered the marriage with a prenuptial agreement, adultery can also impact how that agreement is utilized in court.
Contact Anton Garcia Law
Our Tampa divorce lawyers understand how normal it is to feel betrayed if your spouse has committed adultery. But in Florida family court, it’s not the goal to seek judgment on who’s to blame for the dissolution of the marriage.
If you have found out about your spouse’s affair or would like to dissolve your adulterous marriage, contact Anton Garcia Law in Tampa, Florida. Our team of experienced divorce attorneys led by Christina Anton Garcia can help you understand how adultery affects your divorce in Florida.