Most couples expect that their marriage will last. It is not likely that a couple expects to get a divorce, let alone have one spouse cheat on the other. Divorce, which is already contentious between two spouses, might be worse if adultery is a factor. In this article, we will discuss how adultery may impact alimony awards in a divorce between two people.

What is Alimony?

As mentioned in our previous article, alimony is the payment the court orders one former spouse to pay another former spouse.  The purpose of alimony is to ensure that the former spouse will still have some sort of financial support that will enable them to move on after the divorce.

What Factors Determine Whether Alimony Will be Rewarded?

Florida is a no-fault state. As a result, the fact that one spouse may have committed adultery does not automatically disqualify them from receiving alimony or places a requirement on them to pay alimony.  Adultery is just one factor that the courts will consider in determining alimony.  The main factors that determine alimony are as follows:

  • Earning potential, educational background, and/or employability of each person.
  • Age, physical, and emotional well-being of each person.
  • Primary custodianship of any minor children.
  • Sources of income or financial capacity of each party.
  • Length of marriage.
  • Expected standard of living of each party.
  • Tax issues and complications.
  • Marriage and financial contributions each party brought to the relationship.

How Does Adultery Impact Alimony?

Adultery plays a factor in alimony if a substantial amount of assets were used to commit the adultery that would have otherwise been used in the marriage.  For example, if one spouse uses assets that were being reserved for a downpayment of a home to pay the living expenses of the person they are having an affair with, then this will have an impact on the alimony award.

How to Prove Adultery Impacted the Finances of the Marriage?

In relationships where everything is shared, such as a shared bank account, this is easier to do.  If one or both spouses have any separate accounts, such as savings, checking, or credit cards, then it might be a little more difficult for the other spouse to show what was spent without a subpoena or forensic audit of all accounts, both joint and separate.

In Conclusion

No matter why you are filing for divorce, it is important to seek legal help.  Even in amicable divorce proceedings, many factors are at play that could complicate proceedings. When facing any legal proceeding, it is best to have an experienced attorney who can help you navigate through the complex legal system and ensure that you will be protected. The lawyers at Thompson Law have years of experience in dealing with all matters of family law. Contact us for a consultation regarding your case.