Can Infidelity or Adultery Affect Alimony Awards in Florida?
There are many factors taken into account when determining if or how much alimony a spouse may be awarded in the event of a divorce; one of those factors is adultery. Whether you are a spouse who had an extramarital affair or the spouse who desires to collect alimony from a spouse who committed adultery, you will find the information below useful and enlightening.
What do Florida Courts Consider in Determining Whether Alimony Will be Awarded?
As mentioned above, several factors are taken into consideration by the court in determining if either spouse may be awarded alimony. Adultery is one of these factors. The state's alimony laws give the courts the power to "consider the adultery of either spouse and the circumstances thereof in determining the amount of alimony, if any, to be awarded."
We will discuss adultery and its impact on alimony a bit later, but first we will list other factors that may impact alimony awards. These include:
- The earning capacity, vocational skills, employability, and educational history of each spouse
- The physical/emotional condition and age of each spouse
- When minor children spouses have in common are involved, the responsibilities of each spouse in regards to the children
- For the spouse seeking alimony (also referred to as spousal support or maintenance), the court will review financial resources along with award of marital property and separate property
- All sources of income available for both spouses, including investment income
- How long the marriage lasted
- The standard of living spouses were accustomed to during the marriage
- The contributions made by each spouse to the marriage in terms of child care, homemaking, helping the other spouse support/build a career, and education
- Tax consequences which may arise as a result of the alimony award
This is not an all-inclusive list, however it does give you a good idea of what the court will look at in determining whether one spouse or the other is awarded alimony, and the amount of the alimony.
Whether the court awards or denies the request for alimony, a statement of facts will be provided that explains the factors supporting the award/denial.
What role does adultery play in alimony, and the amount of spousal support the seeking spouse may be awarded? Essentially, the infidelity must have had a financial impact on the marriage and/or family. For instance, if the spouse who was adulterous spent a substantial amount of money on the "other woman" or "other man," if the amount is significant enough that it caused financial detriment, it may be to the seeking spouse's benefit. Examples of this would be lavish spending on jewelry, support of the girlfriend/boyfriend in terms of rent/house payment, expensive vacations, or any financial expenditures that would be considered wasteful for non-marital purposes, and could have been used to benefit the marriage/family.
Will adultery affect an alimony award? The straight answer is, it all depends. It could in some cases, in others it may not. For answers to all of your questions regarding divorce and spousal support, contact the Orlando divorce attorneys at Adams & Luka.