Florida is a no-fault divorce state. That means that someone seeking a divorce does not need to prove that their spouse cheated or did anything wrong. In order to be granted a divorce, it simply needs to be shown that the marriage is "irretrievably broken."
While infidelity no longer needs to be proved to end a marriage, it can still play an important part in the divorce process because it is often considered by a court when deciding how to divide property and whether to award alimony.
Florida law instructs judges to divide marital property equitably. This means that judges use a variety of factors to determine which assets to award to each party. Common factors include the length of the marriage, each spouse’s earning ability and the age of each party. Additionally, courts are allowed to consider infidelity when dividing a couple’s assets.
While a court won’t penalize one spouse for cheating, they may consider whether marital money was spent supporting an extramarital relationship. Money spent on gifts, vacations or dinners could be considered when the judge is making a decision.
A court can also consider infidelity when determining whether to award alimony, but only if one of the spouses suffered financially due to the actions of the other. As with division of property, a judge could take into account expenditures such as paying a lover’s rent, buying someone a car or showering them in gifts. A judge may consider such actions to be a misappropriation of marital assets.
To better understand the impacts that infidelity can have on division of property, alimony or even timesharing, contact the Tampa divorce attorneys at the Law Offices of K. Dean Kantaras, P.A.