MyDivorcePapers Blog

We're here to make your life easier to manage and to help you begin your new start.

Adultery & Property Division in FloridaNo-fault, uncontested divorce statutes are similar from state to state. Florida divorce laws permit  a married couple to divorce based on the principle of “no fault”, as defined by the Florida Family Law court. Under this principle, the fact that one spouse engaged in adulterous behavior during the marriage is irrelevant to whether the parties are entitled to a divorce. This is not the case in all states. However, in some limited situations, Florida divorce laws do consider adultery a factor in determining how marital assets are divided, the amount of alimony payments, and child custody arrangements.

Florida Adultery Statute
As of October 2011, adultery is still a crime in Florida despite efforts in 2011 by a Florida legislator to repeal the statute. The statute has not been updated and is still very much rooted back to its inception, meaning that it dates back to the 19th century and has been described as “rarely enforced” throughout the state. Given that adultery can be considered in some divorce cases a violation worthy of arrest under the criminal statute, adultery may also affect divorce proceedings.

Division of Assets
As a general rule, Florida law requires marital property to be equitably distributed between the spouses in a divorce. If the spouses cannot agree on a division of the property through mediation, the court will divide the property in a fair and equitable manner, without favoring one spouse over the other. However, in appropriate cases, the court will consider the issue of a spouse’s adultery as a basis to give the other spouse a greater share of the marital property. In order for this to apply, the spouse engaging in adulterous behavior must cause damage or loss to the marital assets, for example, by giving a significant asset like an automobile to the spouse’s paramour.

Florida divorce law specifies that an award of alimony or spousal support shall be based on a spouse’s need for financial support, as well as the other spouse’s ability to pay spousal support. Chapter 61 of the Florida Statutes lists 10 factors that the court should consider relevant in determining spousal support, including the duration of the marriage, the standard of living during the marriage, and the age and physical condition of the spouses. Although adultery is not listed as one of the factors, the statute does state that the court may consider adultery in determining whether to award spousal support or the amount of the award, so long as the court considers the other factors specified in the statute. However, as with a division of assets, the court is unlikely to consider adultery a factor in determining spousal support unless the spouse’s adulterous behavior caused financial harm to the other spouse.

Child Custody

A Florida divorce court must approve a parenting plan for any minor child involved in a divorce. Florida law requires the court to order both parents to share responsibility for their child, except in situations where that may be detrimental to the child. In making its determination, the court must consider several factors, such as the school and community record of the child, as well as the health, both physical and mental, of each parent. Although adultery is not listed as a factor, the court is required to consider the “moral fitness of the parents.” Depending on the circumstance, the court might inquire about the facts of the adulterous behavior and its effects on the child as part of considering the custody issue.

One thought on “Adultery & Property Division in Florida

  1. Dorothy newsome

    When minor children are present in divorce cases, the court is required to determine the type of parental responsibility that shall apply. The court can order the parties to have shared parental responsibility, which means that the parents shall have an equal say in major matters pertaining to the children such as educational, medical, religion and other significant matters pertaining to the children.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Home | Leadership Team | Help Center | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions | Disclaimer

© 2014, All Rights Reserved.

Back to Top