How Cheating Affects Florida Alimony Awards

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You are filing for divorce, and you hope to receive alimony. You also allege that your spouse committed adultery.

Can cheating influence the amount of alimony awarded? Yes, in some cases it can.

If alimony is to be awarded in a divorce case, a valid claim of adultery may be brought into evidence. As stated in the Florida statute regarding alimony, the court may take into account either spouse’s act of cheating during the marriage when deciding the amount of spousal support to be allocated.

Speak with an experienced alimony attorney at our firm today.
Call 407-834-4847.

family law and divorce attorney at Kramer Law in Orlando is able to evaluate your case and help you determine (1) whether there is going to be alimony or not, and (2) how a judge will view adulterous behavior with regards to alimony and other financial actions in divorce.

“Dissipation of Assets” – What is it, and how does it affect Florida alimony?

The reason cheating might affect the amount of spousal support is due in part to what is called dissipation of assets. This involves the depletion or squandering of marital finances.

Under Florida law, dissipation may occur when an unfaithful spouse misspends marital funds in support of his or her adulterous relationship, to the detriment of the innocent spouse.

Suffice it to say that, if you or your spouse had an extramarital affair, chances are marital money was deliberately spent to sustain the affair. Spending can take many forms, such as expensive gifts, clandestine meetings or trips, housing, or even hidden bank accounts and phone accounts—which the court may consider intentional misconduct and concealing or wasting jointly-owned monies.

Claims of Cheating Call for Evidence

Integral to allegations of adultery is proof. If there is evidence to support that marital funds or property were intentionally used to support the affair, the court can examine the use (or misuse) of marital property in its determinations of alimony.

The non-offending spouse must show that the use of marital assets by the adulterous spouse

  • was deliberate
  • resulted in financial disadvantage to the non-adulterous spouse
  • was done without the spouse’s knowledge or allowance
  • resulted in the dissipation of marital assets

However, these allegations can be difficult to prove. Evidence must be established and preserved.

If you are troubled that your spouse may be hiding marital money, or using marital funds for the benefit of an extramarital affair—or if you have been accused of dissipating marital assets—call the attorneys at Kramer Law without delay.

While not grounds for divorce itself, cheating may influence an alimony award.

Adultery is a common reason for the collapse of many marriages. However, marital conduct such as infidelity does not need to be shown in order to file for divorce.

Florida is a “no-fault” divorce state, with the only two “grounds for divorce” being:

  • irreconcilable differences, or
  • the mental incapacity of one of the parties for a period of three years.

It is also important to remember that alimony is not a factor in all divorces.

Many factors are considered in alimony awards. Spousal support may become an issue when a significant income gap between divorcing spouses occurs, and when a couple has been married for some length of time.

Generally, a judge examines the financial circumstances of both parties to determine whether an award of alimony is called for, and the amount of the award:

  • Is there need for alimony by the receiving party?
  • Is the payor spouse able to pay alimony?

In a case where adultery is present, the judge may find that a spouse’s financial situation was damaged by the other spouse’s adultery. Proving that your spouse engaged in an illicit affair which caused you financial detriment may, along with other legal considerations,

  • reduce or eliminate your obligation to pay alimony, or
  • increase the alimony payments awarded to you

Will cheating affect Florida alimony in your divorce case?

Working with an Orlando divorce lawyer at Kramer Law will ensure that you understand how the law affects your situation. We meticulously inform the court of all relevant issues regarding alimony in your case.

A good divorce attorney will scrutinize every avenue when considering pivotal legal arguments to make in court. If you are dealing with a cheating spouse and you feel that divorce is imminent, contact Kramer Law to see how it will impact your case.

A final note on an old Florida statute

Archaic as it may be, FL Statute 798.01 states that “living in open adultery” is a 2nd degree misdemeanor.

Though seldom, if ever, enforced, cheating in a marriage is still technically “against the law” in Florida.

Learn more about alimony and adultery in Florida.

Speak with an experienced alimony lawyer at our firm today.
Call 407-834-4847.

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Altamonte Springs, FL 32714
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Orlando, FL 32801
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