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
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.
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.