Florida is a “no fault” divorce state, meaning that either spouse may seek a divorce without showing cause for the desired separation. The spouse seeking a divorce has the option to simply claim the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” Generally, Florida courts are not concerned with which party played the greater role in causing the divorce.
As a Jacksonville Divorce Attorney, I am often asked how a cheating spouse factors into a divorce in Florida. While adulterous conduct does not factor into the court’s decision to grant a divorce, it can impact other important issues raised in a divorce.
In child custody battles, a court considers the “moral fitness” of a parent seeking custody. Evidence of adulterous conduct can lower a party’s level of “moral fitness,” and decrease his or her chances of receiving custody. However, it is not an absolute bar to child custody. Often times, a larger impact will be whether the adultery had an adverse impact on the child.
Additionally, Florida Law stipulates that adultery is a factor to be considered in determining the amount of alimony awarded. In short, a higher frequency of adulterous conduct by a cheating spouse can lead to a larger amount of alimony he or she will have to pay.
If you are contemplating a divorce in Florida or have concerns about the impact of adulterous behavior on your divorce, contact a Florida Divorce Attorney today!