Marriages end in divorce for a myriad of reasons. Unfortunately, the decision to separate is not always mutual, or easy to deal with. One of the hardest types of divorce is one where cheating is involved, because a solid marriage is built on trust, and once that’s broken, it’s hard to repair it. Though most high-profile divorces cite “irreconcilable differences” as a reason to dissolve the union, deciding to get a divorce due to adultery might have an impact on the way case is handled.
Adultery rarely has much of an impact on the distribution of assets unless one spouse has used marital assets to support the extra-marital relationship. For example, if a husband borrows capital against a marital asset in order to support his mistress, that fact would likely be taken into account in splitting the assets for both parties. Adultery won’t affect a custody assignment unless the spouse who cheated carried on the relationship in front of the children, or exposed them to inappropriate people or situations during the course of the affair.
Section 61.08(1), Florida Statutes, allows the court to consider adultery and the circumstances surrounding adultery in determining the amount of alimony to award. However, before this circumstance is taken into consideration, the court must make findings of fact related to a number of other factors that determine whether alimony should be awarded. Also, if an unfaithful spouse contracts a sexually transmitted disease (STD), and later infects his or her spouse with it, then that can give rise to a personal injury action between spouses, called an Interspousal Tort.
The biggest effect adultery will have on a divorce is in the negotiation of settlement. When the case involves adultery, the tension between both parties will be palpable and the emotional stance of each party coming into the negotiation can drastically affect the outcome of the settlement. When making important decisions throughout your divorce, it is important to remain level-headed. You must be able to separate how you want to react versus how you should react. Keep in mind what is in your best interest, not ways to get revenge on your spouse.
The easiest way to cope during his difficult time is working with an attorney whom you feel comfortable with. At Levine Family Law, we will be that for you, and more. We know how heartbreaking this time can be and we want nothing more than to help in anyway we can. If you’re going through a situation that involves adultery, please don’t hesitate to contact Scott A. Levine, P.A.