You catch your spouse in an affair. The marriage is irreconcilably broken. Divorce is imminent. But can infidelity or the presence of an affair lead to more alimony or a larger financial award when the case is settled? That depends. The short answer is, No.
As a No Fault state, Florida courts generally do not consider infidelity or misconduct as relevant in a divorce action. To be sure, evidence of an affair tends to escalate the emotions. But judges do not consider adultery, mental cruelty and or abandonment as grounds for divorce. All one has to allege and testify to is that the marriage is irretrievably broken. So the fact that an affair occurred is not relevant and will not affect the amount of alimony or financial award granted.
But, if the aggrieved spouse can prove a financial consequence resulting from the affair, then money may be awarded. For example, imagine that the aggrieved spouse can show through receipts or credit card statements that the other party used joint assets to provide gifts, trips, meals, hotel stays or similar largesse upon his mistress. Then the court can award an adjustment in the amount of half of all joint proceeds spent on the affair. So, if the spouse spent $1,000 on the girlfriend, the wife is due $500.
Evidence of an affairs does not affect the calculation of child support, which is subject to strict, state-imposed guidelines. But it could affect timesharing or custody arrangements. Moreover, Florida does not recognize palimony, or support for unmarried people unless a written agreement had been entered into and there was some other consideration aside from sexual relations.
However, the father of a child born out of wedlock as part of an affair is legally obligated to support that child.
The Law Offices of Barry I. Finkel P.A., handles complex divorce litigation for a variety of clients, including high net worth individuals. As a divorce and family law firm, the practice serves the needs of the entire family. Established in Fort Lauderdale / Broward County, Florida, in 1992, and now in Boca Raton, the firm's lawyers provide trusted matrimonial counsel to clients facing turbulent times and unsettling circumstances. For a consultation or to schedule an appointment, please call 954-776-1414.