What is Financial Adultery?

It can be highly alarming to find out your husband or wife has went outside of your relationship and engaged in an extramarital affair. However, most people are surprised to find out that adultery isn’t the “smoking gun” they think. Unless the adultery is financial adultery or results in the dissipation of marital assets, it’s not necessarily relevant in the eyes of the courts. The overall goal of the court is to unravel you and your spouse’s joint financial life, which will allow you and your previous spouse to start on new financial lives. Continue reading to learn more about financial adultery and why it’s important to consult with an experienced Tallahassee divorce attorney.

Rarely Does Adultery Affect Your Divorce

Even though many people choose to hire a private investigator to prove their spouse is engaged in an affair, Florida divorce courts do not require this type of proof. Florida is a “no fault” divorce state, which means the courts do not need proof of adultery to grant the divorce and divide the assets. In other words, the courts have very little to no interest in using either party’s proof of adultery.  

Financial Adultery Does Matter

Instead of presenting your Tallahassee divorce attorney with proof of a marital affair, it’s important to pay close attention to the financial paperwork. Although a physical affair doesn’t matter in Florida courts, financial adultery does. Make sure you discuss any of the following matters with your Tallahassee family law or Tallahassee alimony attorney:

  • If your spouse spent a boatload or a substantial amount of money on someone without your consent outside of the marriage;
  • If your spouse hid money from you;
  • If your spouse didn’t disclose all of their income or earnings.

Florida Divorce Statute

  • A statute is a written law passed by the state or federal legislature
  • However, the Florida Statutes seem to offer a dissenting view to the previous comments. In particular, the statutes contradict the notion that adultery isn’t considered by the courts.
  • The Florida Statutes, Sections 61.075 and 61.08 indicate that adultery and other types of marital misconduct do matter in a divorce settlement. In other words, it suggests the “injured” spouse should receive more assets than the “offending” spouse.
  • Yet, the courts have indicated through practice that misconduct or marital adultery has to be financial and intentional, either not known or condoned by the injured spouse, and resulted in the consumption of marital assets.

When Does Adultery Matter?

As with any law, there are exceptions. If timesharing and parenting plans are involved in your case, make sure you discuss the adultery in depth with your family law attorney in Tallahassee. For example, if the cheating spouse is unable to spend time or take care with the minor because of the affair, the courts may consider this evidence relevant. Another instance the courts may consider adultery relevant is if the adulterous spouse conducts the affair with the child around or with the child’s knowledge, which could affect the child’s mental health. If adultery is an issue and a minor is involved, make sure to consult with an experienced family law attorney.

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