Few things have the potential to end a marriage faster than infidelity. Discovering that the man you loved and pledged to exclusively share your life with has been unfaithful can be emotionally devastating, and for most people it is a point of no return for their union.
However, there are significant misconceptions regarding how the act of adultery can impact a marital dissolution. Many women assume that if their husband cheats on them, it means they will have all the leverage in the divorce proceedings. In fact, in the State of Florida, infidelity will impact a divorce ruling less than most people might think.
Florida is a “No-Fault” divorce state. What this means is anyone can seek to get a divorce without having to prove their partner is at fault or give any reason beyond the fact that the marriage is irretrievably broken. On the positive side, this allows women to end a bad marriage that they otherwise may not have been able to escape from. On the negative side, no-fault divorce states like Florida generally give minimal consideration to blame when there is clear evidence that one partner committed acts that were detrimental to the marriage.
There are, however, two aspects of a divorce in which infidelity could potentially come into play.
Firstly, infidelity could impact a child custody battle that is resulting from your divorce. If your husband had an affair and is continuing to see that person, and the object of the affair has some sort of criminal record or history that indicates it would not be a positive thing to have your children around her, a court may rule in your favor on the grounds that granting custody to your husband would be potentially harmful to your children due to his relationship with the other woman.
The second aspect of a divorce which can be impacted by infidelity is in the division of assets—though, only under very specific circumstances. Simply demonstrating that your husband committed adultery does not automatically mean the courts will favor you in the distribution of assets. Florida is an equitable distribution state, meaning they will attempt to divide the assets as fairly as possible—not necessarily equally. However, if your husband used marital assets to carry on his affair, such as paying for flights to visit the subject of his infidelity or purchasing gifts for her, this could significantly reduce the assets granted to your husband as compensation to you for those wasted assets.
Whether or not to present evidence of infidelity as part of your divorce case is a complex decision that should be thoroughly discussed with your attorney. There are some aspects of the divorce upon which the infidelity could have a major impact, but bringing adultery into the proceedings is not always your best option. If you are a woman in the State of Florida who has been the victim of infidelity, and you are seeking a divorce, please contact the Quick Law Group today to learn how we can help.