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Can infidelity play a role in divorce proceedings?

When it comes to divorce, there is a never-ending list of reasons why a couple might decide to split. It could be that they slowly drifted apart or that financial stressors got the best of them. One very prominent reason that leads many to seek divorce is infidelity. Not only can infidelity be heartbreaking in a relationship due to the loss of trust, but it can also lead to a very tumultuous divorce. The spouse that got cheated on may feel as though he or she wants to get back at the cheating spouse and therefore tries to battle it out in court. So it makes sense that a lot of people wonder whether or not infidelity can really play a part in divorce proceedings.

The simple answer is "it depends." Generally speaking, because Florida is a no-fault state, the person seeking the divorce does not need to prove actions such as abuse, misconduct or infidelity. Proof did have to be provided prior to 1971, but the law has since changed.

With that being said, Florida alimony laws do allow courts to take into consideration infidelity when awarding spousal support. But the general rule is that the need of the alimony-seeking spouse and the ability to pay of the non-seeking spouse are the key factors that should be considered.

Interestingly enough, adultery can also play a role in property division issues if it somehow led to a decrease or increase in marital assets. Finally, infidelity can also play a role in child custody issues, but it is very unlikely. For example, a spouse could try to use it as an example when trying to show the "moral fitness" of the other parent.

Because each divorce case has its unique factors, it's important to work with a lawyer who can answer specific questions related to your case.

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