How Infidelity Impacts Divorce Proceedings in Florida
Infidelity often signals the end of a marriage, and for many, the belief is that an affair will dramatically influence the outcome of divorce proceedings. However, the legal reality in Florida can be quite different.
If you are facing infidelity in your relationship and are considering divorce, hiring a divorce attorney can help you come out the other side of the divorce process with your head held high. Contact Johnny Bardine today for a consultation to discuss your needs and how our team can assist you in moving forward towards a brighter future. You can get in touch at (727) 605-7078 or through our website.
Understanding What Goes Into Florida’s No-Fault Divorce Law
We have touched upon no-fault divorce in previous entries. For a quick recap, no-fault divorce laws mean that the reasons for the marriage breakdown are generally irrelevant in the eyes of the court. Instead, one party only needs to assert that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” Sometimes, relationships simply do not work out, without the need to place blame on either spouse. However, many people who understand this reality still think that applying for a divorce with fault is an option, which is not the case. Infidelity and other similar faults can be a part of a divorce, but they will not factor into whether or not the divorce is granted or valid.
What No-Fault Really Means
Misconception Clarification – A common misconception is that proving infidelity or other forms of marital misconduct will impact the divorce outcome in Florida. In reality, the no-fault approach means that the court does not consider these factors when granting a divorce. The focus is instead on equitable distribution of assets and child-related matters.
Simplifying the Process – Florida’s no-fault divorce law is designed to streamline the legal process. Removing the need to prove fault allows couples to focus on the practical aspects of their separation, such as property division, alimony, and child custody, rather than getting entangled in proving who was to blame for the marriage’s failure.
Contrast with Other States – Not all states in the U.S. follow the no-fault principle at all times. Some states allow for “fault” divorces, where one spouse can allege and prove reasons such as infidelity, abuse, or abandonment.
Infidelity’s Role in Alimony Decisions
While Florida’s no-fault divorce law does not consider infidelity as a direct factor in divorce proceedings, it can indirectly influence alimony decisions under certain circumstances. Specifically, the focus shifts to the financial implications of infidelity, such as marital waste or financial misconduct. Marital waste is when one spouse has spent marital funds on a non-marital partner, thereby depleting the marital estate. Likewise, financial misconduct, which may include hiding assets or incurring debt to support an extramarital affair, can also be taken into account.
In several actual Florida cases, courts have considered infidelity as a factor in alimony decisions, such as cases where one spouse used joint savings for lavish gifts or vacations with a non-marital partner. In response, the court adjusted alimony to compensate for this misuse of marital funds.
Child Custody and Infidelity
The primary focus in Florida custody courts is always on the best interests of the child. While infidelity by itself is not a direct factor in determining child custody, it can have an indirect impact in certain circumstances. This typically happens when the behavior surrounding the infidelity affects the child’s well-being or the parenting abilities of the involved party.
For instance, if the infidelity leads to neglectful parenting, exposes the child to inappropriate situations, or significantly disrupts the child’s routine and emotional stability, the court can consider these aspects. It’s not the act of infidelity itself – the associated behaviors and their impact on the child that can influence custody decisions.
Contact A St Petersburg Divorce Attorney Today
Even though you may want to fight out your divorce in court and prove fault on the part of your former spouse, this is not always the best way to get what you want out of your separation. If you find yourself unexpectedly in a relationship marred by infidelity and are contemplating divorce, securing the guidance of a skilled divorce attorney is a wise step. Doing so allows you to emerge from the divorce process with dignity and resilience.
For tailored advice and dedicated support in moving towards a more hopeful future, don’t hesitate to contact Johnny Bardine for a consultation. You can contact us today at (727) 605-7078 or through our website.