Is Cheating Illegal In Florida?
Believe it or not, yes, it is illegal in Florida to cheat on your spouse. Under Florida law, statute 798.01, living in open adultery is a second degree misdemeanor and is punishable by law. In a no-fault state such as Florida, spouses can still file for divorce if their partner was unfaithful. Adultery can influence the court's decisions on matters such as custody or alimony.
However, as you can imagine, although that law is still on the books, it’s not enforced. Many people have cheated on their spouses in Florida, including Tiger Woods, and have not been convicted of a crime.
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Do You Need to Prove Infidelity?
Cheating can make a difference in the divorce though. In order to file for divorce in Florida, you do not have to prove that any infidelity took place - you just have to tell the court that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
You can’t allege that the infidelity was the reason for the divorce. Instead, you will introduce evidence of your spouse’s adultery when it is time to divide the assets and award child custody and alimony.
Does Infidelity Impact Marital Property?
In Florida, judges cannot award one spouse a larger share of the marital property because one spouse cheated. However, if one spouse used marital assets on his or her lover, the court can take that into consideration when dividing the property, and can award the wronged spouse more of the marital assets.
In general, cheating will not affect whether or not a spouse gets visitation with the children. It can, however, affect who gets custody.
If your spouse cheated, you may introduce evidence to the court showing how the cheating affected your children in a negative way, and the court may decide the adulterer should not have primary custody.
The court can take cheating into account when awarding alimony. The alimony award is not designed to punish the cheating spouse, however.
Contact Dale L. Bernstein, Chartered Law Office
Are you currently facing divorce? Discuss your case further with Attorney Dale L. Bernstein. When you retain his representation, you can have confidence that he will be your advocate every step of the way. He has helped thousands find peace after their divorce and has over three decades of experience.
Contact the firm today to schedule a case consultation.