While Florida is a no fault divorce state, adultery can have a significant impact on the outcome of the divorce case. Specifically, Fla. Statute Section 61.08 provides that the court may consider the adultery of either spouse and the circumstances thereof in determining the amount of alimony, if any, to be awarded. This means that if one spouse can prove that the other spouse committed adultery, it can have a significant impact on the outcome of the divorce case. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how adultery can affect a divorce case in Florida.
What is Adultery?
Adultery is defined as voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than their spouse. In Florida, adultery only applies to heterosexual relationships, as same-sex marriage was not legalized in the state until 2015.
Impact of Adultery on Divorce Proceedings
Florida Statute Section 61.08 permits the Court to consider adultery in the context of a claim for alimony. This means that if one spouse can prove that the other committed adultery, it can have a significant impact on the outcome of the divorce case. Adultery can impact several aspects of a divorce case, including:
- Property Division: Adultery can impact the division of property in a divorce case. In Florida, property is divided equitably between the spouses, which means that each spouse is entitled to a fair share of the marital property. However, if one spouse can prove that the other committed adultery, it can impact how the court divides the property.
- Alimony: Adultery can also impact the award of alimony in a divorce case. In Florida, the court may award alimony to a spouse who is financially dependent on the other spouse. However, if one spouse can prove that the other committed adultery, it can impact the amount and duration of the alimony award.
- Child Custody: Adultery can also impact child custody in a divorce case. In Florida, the court makes decisions about child custody based on the best interests of the child. If one spouse can prove that the other committed adultery, it can impact the court’s decision about custody.
In order to impact a divorce case, adultery must be proven. In Florida, the burden of proof is on the spouse making the claim of adultery. This means that the spouse must provide evidence that the other spouse committed adultery.
Evidence of adultery can include:
- Eyewitness testimony: If someone witnessed the adultery, they can testify in court.
- Photographs or videos: If the spouse has photographic or video evidence of the adultery, it can be presented in court.
- Emails, text messages, or other electronic communications: If the spouse has electronic evidence of the adultery, it can be presented in court.
- Hotel or credit card receipts: If the spouse has receipts that show that the other spouse was staying in a hotel or engaging in other activities that are consistent with adultery, it can be presented in court.
- Admissions: If the spouse admits to committing adultery, it can be presented in court.
It’s important to note that in Florida, adultery must be proven by clear and convincing evidence. This is a higher standard of proof than in other types of civil cases.
Contact an Experienced Divorce Attorney
If you believe that your spouse has committed adultery and you’re considering a divorce, it’s important to contact an experienced divorce attorney. An attorney can help you gather the evidence you need to prove adultery and can help you navigate the complex legal process of a divorce case.
At Ronald M. Zakarin, Attorney at Law, we have years of experience representing clients in divorce cases. We understand how adultery can impact a divorce case and we’re here to help you through the process. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.