The Role Adultery Plays In Same Sex Couple Divorce
The end of a marriage is always painful, particularly if there have been extramarital affairs and outside relationships involved. When you are the one who has been cheated on by your spouse, it is only natural to feel hurt, angry, and betrayed. The affair may be the primary reason you are filing for divorce, and it is common to want to hold the other party accountable for what they did. At the same time, if you are the one who was or is currently involved in an affair or relationship, you may have concerns about how the court will view the situation, and how it could potentially impact your case. While Florida is considered a ‘no fault’ divorce state, allegations of adultery do play a role in these proceedings.
Adultery and Florida ‘No Fault’ Divorce Laws
Adulterous affairs and relationships outside of marriage are commonly cited reasons for couples considering divorce. While these situations play a significant factor in the breakdown of a marriage, under Section 61.052 of the Florida Statutes, divorces are not granted on fault grounds, such as habitual drunkenness, domestic abuse, or adultery. As a no-fault divorce state, there are only two reasons the court has for granting a divorce, legally referred to as the dissolution of a marriage:
- When the marriage itself has been irretrievably broken;
- When one of the parties in the marriage is mentally incapacitated.
Of course, an affair is likely to have caused significant harm to your relationship, and may be a factor in terms of why any issues are irreconcilable and why the relationship is beyond repair. At the same time, the spouse who committed the adultery is not considered by the court or listed in court documents as being the one specifically at fault for the divorce.
Potential Consequences of Adultery in Your Divorce
The lack of fault grounds in Florida divorce cases does not mean that bad behavior on the part of either spouse does not have negative consequences, with potentially costly impacts. In divorce guidelines from the Florida Bar Association, couples are advised that behavior such as having affairs or being involved in another relationship, either during the marriage or during the divorce, could potentially impact court decisions in the following matters:
- Timesharing arrangements concerning children, in which moral fitness is a factor in determining the best interests of the child;
- Awards of spousal maintenance and support, which is generally reduced or denied to spouses who have engaged in adultery;
- Division of marital property, particularly if one spouse can prove that the other squandered resources on extra marital affairs.
Contact Us for Assistance
If you are contemplating a divorce or separation from your spouse, or have had divorce documents served against you, contact Hancock & Associates, P.A. today. Our Florida divorce attorney provides the experienced, professional legal representation in potentially contentious divorce proceedings, helping to defend your legal rights while ensuring your interests are protected. With offices in Orlando and Tampa, we can help you; call or contact our office online to set up a meeting with one of our attorneys. Same day consultations are available.