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The Costs of Marital Infidelity in Florida

Any Florida law student will tell you that infidelity will not matter in a divorce. An experienced Florida divorce attorney can tell you that it might cost more than you think.

In divorce proceedings, courts will not want to assign blame for the failed marriage. The court will want to divide property and child maintenance costs using statutorily established formulas. The question of cheating is left at the courtroom doors. Furthermore, Florida, being a no-fault divorce state, does not require any proof of adultery to obtain a divorce.
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However, a scorned spouse may elongate the process and make a simple proceeding more costly and complicated than an amicable divorce and unless both parties can cooperate, mediation may not be an option. This will mean more money lost in court to the spouse and more money spent on court and representation expenses. Most divorce attorneys will suggest a spouse should keep outside romantic relations to a minimum to reduce a messy emotional divorce.

Adulterous spouses might also suffer in divorce settlements in Florida.

Prenuptial agreements may contain a multitude of behavioral clauses. Two actual clauses on the bizarre side include a clause limiting the husband to only watching one football game per week or a limit on the wife’s potential weight range. It should not be a surprise then that infidelity clauses are somewhat more common. It is rumored that Catherine Zeta-Jones has protected herself with such a clause in her prenup with Michael Douglas. The one downfall to such a clause is that a court would require legally obtained proof of the affair which can be sometimes difficult to provide. The Law Office of Sandy T. Fox has extensive experience drafting and executing any and all types of prenuptial agreements.

A unfaithful spouse has most likely spent funds belonging to the marriage on the affair. With adequate proof, a spouse may recover a portion entitled to them under marital property as these gifts would be considered “waste”. Marital funds are meant to keep a marital home intact. This may mean money out-of-pocket by the cheating former spouse. This may make spousal support more costly if this extra cost to the marriage has incurred deeper costs on the non-offending spouse such as debt.

“Moral fitness” is also a factor in Florida for determining child custody. The former spouse will be seen as a whole person but proof of abandonment, viciousness, secrecy, and deviancy by the adulterous spouse will go against them. The court will weigh the parent’s relationship with the child, financial stability, and other factors but it is still a risk. This could also could have a threat on visitation rights.

If the unfaithful spouse committed acts of adultery in the presence of the child, that can held against them. If the unfaithful spouse flaunted these acts in front of the family, that can be considered a form of abuse by the court.

Furthermore, all severe acts of immorality or irresponsibility paint a picture of character, whether fairly or not. The subconscious bias of a judge or mediator can be detrimental in motions and the extent of sympathy you will be awarded.

If you have questions about how your or your partners adultery can affect your divorce, the Law Office of Sandy T. Fox can help you protect your rights. Attorney Sandy T. Fox is an experienced Broward County divorce attorney who focuses his practice on family law matters, including divorce, child custody and support, adoption, alimony, legal separation, domestic violence, paternity, and prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. To schedule your confidential consultation, please contact us through our website or give us a toll free call at (800) 596-0579.

Related blog posts:

Sesame Street Finally Addresses Divorce in Florida and Nationwide, Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer Blog, December 10, 2012
Husband’s Relationship With In-Laws Good Indicator of Marriage Success in Florida and Elsewhere, Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer Blog, November 30, 2012
A Florida Divorce Often Impacts Your Career, Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer Blog, September 28, 2012

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