Does Adultery Affect Alimony in a Divorce?

Does Adultery Affect Alimony in a Divorce?

Posted By Owenby Law, P.A. || 4-Aug-2017

You’re filing for divorce and are looking to receive spousal support in the process. You allege that your spouse cheated on you during your marriage. Does adultery affect how much you receive in alimony?

Yes it can, but only in specific cases

Alimony

Section 61.08 of the Florida Statutes states that the court may consider infidelity when deciding the amount of alimony in a divorce. However, a judge cannot make a ruling purely to inflict punishment. The only way a judge can order an increased amount of alimony is if the spouse who committed adultery used a large chunk of marital assets on a lover. Money spent on gifts, vacations and hotel rooms can be considered a “wasteful dissipation” of marital assets.

Another way adultery can affect alimony is if the parties signed a prenuptial agreement that considered a possible affair. For example, a contract may state that if a husband or wife cheats, the alimony award paid to the non-cheater will be a certain amount of dollars higher a month.

Property Division

In addition to alimony, cheating may affect how property is divided. Again, a judge can’t be punitive against a cheating spouse. However, if an adulterous spouse used marital money on their lover, the judge may factor this into his or her decision on property division. Florida is an equitable distribution state, which means the court doesn’t need to split property evenly, but rather in a way that seems fair. This allows a judge some wiggle room with their decision.

If you are considering or are in the midst of a divorce, you need to contact the Jacksonville divorce lawyers at Owenby Law, P.A. Our firm can carefully review the details of your case and create a strategy designed to protect your rights and your family’s future.

Call (904) 770-3141 or contact us online for a free initial consultation.

Categories: Divorce
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