Historically in Florida and other States, adultery and divorce were much more closely correlated than they are today in the eyes of the law. In order to get a divorce in the past, the innocent party had to prove that their spouse committed some significant wrongdoing in order to seek legal approval for the termination of marriage. However, today Florida along with most other states has no fault divorce laws. In no fault divorce cases, there are certain legal requirements but these do not include proof of adultery or other fault. However, under some conditions the Florida family law court will consider adultery when adjudicating other issues such as alimony or child support.
The Florida Alimony rule provides that “the court may consider the adultery of either spouse and the circumstances thereof in determining the amount of alimony, if any, to be awarded.” However, in order for the Florida family law court to give alimony based on the adultery, the adultery must have produced a financial loss to the innocent spouse.
When awarding child custody in Florida, the court will consider all factors affecting the welfare and interests of the child. One factor the court will take into consideration is “the moral fitness of the parents.” An act of adultery is likely to be a reflection on the moral fitness of a parent, but this factor alone is not enough to influence a court’s determination on custody. As the Florida Statutes suggest, there are a number of factors that a court will consider when determining the best interests of a child.
If you reside in Jacksovnille, Florida you may file for a divorce without alleging adultery. However, adultery in the marriage may affect child custody issues as well as spousal support. Contact a local family law attorney at Wood, Atter, & Wolf for more information.