Adultery and Divorce: My husband/wife committed adultery, how will that affect the divorce?

5 QUESTIONS TO ASK IF ADULTERY HAS LED TO YOUR DIVORCE

  1. Did your spouse dissipate marital funds on the affair?
  2. Is your spouse’s affair forcing you out of a marriage in which you were financially dependent on your spouse?
  3. Were you and your spouse separated at the time of the affair?
  4. If minor children will be at issue in the divorce, have you and your spouse shielded them from the affair and the resulting dispute?
  5. Is the person with whom your spouse had an affair willing to testify on your behalf as part of the divorce?

Adultery is every married partner’s worst nightmare; it is a betrayal of trust and a break in the bond of marriage. When considering a divorce, however, the law is on your side. Your spouse’s infidelity can be considered by the Court when making decisions at the end of your marriage.

During your divorce, the Court will take into consideration the adultery of your spouse and modify alimony accordingly. The threshold issues to be determined by the Court will be whether you have the need and whether your spouse has the ability to pay alimony.  Once the Court makes this determination, adultery can be considered as well as other forms of marital misconduct.  If your financial stability has suffered as a result of your spouse’s adultery, marital misconduct can be cited against your spouse. In this case, your spouse’s adultery may result in he or she paying more alimony.

Your spouse’s adultery can only affect the divorce so much, however. When determining alimony, the adultery must generally have made an obvious financial impact on you and your spouse’s finances. Bearing this in mind, emotional trauma as a result of adultery has affected alimony awards in previous divorce cases. The effects of marital infidelity on your divorce can differ from those on another divorce, making the issues regarding adultery and divorce somewhat confusing.

We do know that adultery muddies the waters concerning divorce, and legal counsel can help you better navigate those waters and make your divorce less painful and more beneficial to you.  Call now to schedule a consultation and learn to what extent infidelity or other marital misconduct might have in your divorce.

Matt Liebenhaut is a Tallahassee family lawyer, practicing in the areas of divorce, child custody, and child support.  Mr. Liebenhaut also devotes much of his practice to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).