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Does adultery mean anything in a Florida Dissolution?

Does adultery mean anything in a Florida Dissolution? The answer is, perhaps... In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage, the court may grant alimony to a party in need for some financial assistance. As explained in earlier blogs, there are different types of alimony to fit different needs of the person who will be awarded alimony: bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational, lump sum, permanent or certain combinations of these forms of alimony. This concept of alimony is relatively easy to deal with... someone has a need and the other person has an ability to pay; however, what is a more difficult concept to accept, is adultery can be considered by the court in order to make an alimony award. If marriage is between two partners, is it fair to pay alimony for making an error within the sanctity of the marriage? Florida law includes the term "justice". How is "justice" defined when determining alimony? Is "justice" limited to the economic factors relating to the benefit of the spouse who requires financial support to maintain a specific lifestyle? The court is allowed to consider adultery if the adultery depletes family resources or results in greater need on the part of the other spouse. However, adultery may not be used on the basis of an alimony award that either punishes the errant spouse or rewards the faithful spouse. Therefore, the law balances "justice" between both parties by determining the economic impact that adultery had on the marriage. The initial hurdle before determining if adultery is even going to play a role is the need and ability to pay. Additionally, adultery can be a factor when determining equitable distribution, if one spouse can prove that the spouse committing adultery used and "wasted" marital funds and/or assets on financing said adulterous relationship. What do you think about the affect of adultery on dissolution matters in Florida? Florida is known to be a "no fault" state, so the issue of adultery is not supposed to have any bearing on the case, that is what all of the literature stated. Nothing in family law is really as black and white as it first seems, that is why one should be hesitant to represent themselves in a dissolution matter. To learn more about how adultery may or may not affect your alimony, your equitable distribution of assets, or other factors in your particular case, please contact an attorney. The attorneys at Camy B. Schwam-Wilcox, P.A. can assist you in determing what role, if any, adultery will have on your particular case. You can contact us at office@cbswlaw.com, 407-245-7700, or visit our web site at www.cbswlaw.com

 

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