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Divorce is never an easy process, but it can be especially difficult when infidelity was a factor that led to the decision to divorce. In the wake of adultery, emotions can run high and trust can feel especially thin. When one spouse cheats on the other, it is natural to wonder how this will affect the divorce proceedings.

Florida is a "no-fault" divorce state, meaning that either spouse can file for divorce without having to prove that the other spouse was at fault for the marriage's breakdown. Instead, they simply need to claim that the marriage is "irretrievably broken."

This no-fault system means that the court typically does not consider the reasons behind the divorce, including infidelity, when making decisions about property division, alimony, or child custody. However, there are certain circumstances where adultery can have an impact on these aspects of the divorce process.

Property Division: Can Infidelity Affect the Outcome?

In general, Florida courts follow the principle of "equitable distribution" when dividing marital assets and debts during a divorce. This means that the court will attempt to split the couple's property fairly, although not necessarily 50/50. Factors that may influence the court's decision include the length of the marriage, each spouse's financial situation, and each spouse's contributions to the marriage.

While infidelity itself does not directly impact property division, it can still play a role in specific situations. For instance, if the cheating spouse spent a significant amount of marital funds on their affair (e.g., lavish gifts, vacations, or other expenses), the court may view this as "dissipation of marital assets." In such cases, the court might award the non-cheating spouse a larger portion of the marital property to compensate for the funds wasted on the affair.

Alimony: When Adultery Can Make a Difference

Alimony, also known as spousal support, is a payment made by one spouse to the other to help maintain their standard of living after the divorce. Florida courts consider various factors when determining alimony, such as each spouse's financial resources, earning capacity, age, and health.

While infidelity does not automatically impact alimony decisions, it can be considered under certain circumstances. According to Florida law, if a spouse's adultery has resulted in the dissipation of marital assets or negatively affected the family's financial situation, the court may take this into account when determining alimony. In such cases, the cheating spouse may be required to pay more alimony than they would have if their infidelity had not been a factor.

Protecting Your Rights: The Importance of Legal Representation

If you are going through a divorce in Florida and suspect that infidelity may impact the proceedings, it is crucial to have experienced legal representation. A skilled divorce attorney can help you navigate the complex legal system, gather evidence to support your case, and advocate for your rights and interests in court.

A skilled attorney will have a deep understanding of the laws pertaining to infidelity and its potential impact on your settlement. They can also provide valuable guidance on how to present evidence of adultery effectively, increasing the likelihood of a favorable outcome in your case.

A seasoned attorney can help you maintain a clear perspective, approach the case strategically, and ensure that your decisions are based on sound legal advice rather than emotional reactions. By hiring a skilled divorce attorney who understands the complexities of cases involving infidelity, you can rest assured that your case will be handled professionally, increasing your chances of reaching a fair and equitable resolution.

At Mitchell & West LLC, our experienced and compassionate legal team understands that going through a divorce can be a difficult and emotionally draining experience, especially when adultery is involved. We recognize that each divorce case is unique, and we take pride in offering personalized and attentive service to each of our clients. We believe that open communication and collaboration are essential in achieving favorable results in a divorce proceeding.

As your trusted legal partner, we will keep you informed every step of the way, answer your questions, address your concerns, and offer practical solutions to any challenges that may arise. With Mitchell & West LLC by your side, you can face your divorce with confidence, knowing that you have a dedicated team of professionals advocating for your best interests.

If you are facing a divorce in Florida that may be impacted by infidelity, contact Mitchell & West LLC online or call us at (305) 783-3301 for a confidential consultation.