Could Infidelity Affect Alimony Payments?

When a couple decides to get divorced, there are usually a number of issues that factor into the final settlement. If one member of the couple has been unfaithful to his or her spouse, the court may take such actions into consideration when deciding on alimony payments.

Alimony (also known as spousal support) is paid by one member of the divorcing couple to the other as a way to uphold a certain standard of living or to compensate for lost income. This typically comes into play when a member of a marriage puts a career on hold to raise children, when one spouse makes significantly more than the other or when one partner requires financial support to adjust to life after the marriage has ended.

Spousal support can last anywhere from a couple months or a year to the remainder of the recipient’s life. The total payment is decided by looking at both partners’ income, professional skills, education, mental and physical wellbeing, along with each person’s commitment to the relationship when it was intact.

Impact of infidelity

When one member of a couple has been unfaithful, it can have significant mental, physical and financial effects on the other spouse and the marriage as a whole. This is why, in Florida, courts are permitted to consider adulterous behavior when deciding the total alimony payment made by one spouse to another.

One of the major factors that the court considers when a spouse cheats is what, if any, financial consequences there were to the affair. If the spouse that was unfaithful spent the couple’s funds on the affair, the court may increase the alimony payment to their spouse. In other words, if one member of the couple spent funds on jewelry, dinners, hotels or vacations with the new partner, they may be required by the court to repay their spouse through alimony payments.

For more information and guidance on alimony issues, consult the respected Tampa Bay divorce lawyers at the Law Office of K. Dean Kantaras.

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