Florida Divorce Laws on Infidelity

By Beverly Bird

No-fault divorce states, such as Florida, grant divorces on the premise that sometimes marriages just don’t work out. The spouse who wants to end the marriage doesn’t have to prove that her partner committed any wrongdoing. She only has to tell the court that the marriage can't be saved. However, if her spouse was unfaithful, and if she can prove his infidelity, Florida law allows judges to take it into consideration when deciding certain issues.

Grounds for Divorce

Officially, Florida has only two divorce grounds: that the marriage is “irretrievably broken” or that your spouse is mentally incapacitated. When you file a divorce petition, you must tell the court in the petition which reason has caused you to end your marriage. If your spouse was unfaithful, irretrievable breakdown is the ground that applies. You would not state your allegations of infidelity in your petition. However, you can tell the court whether you want alimony or custody and how you want your marital property divided. When a judge ultimately decides these issues, he can take your spouse’s adultery into consideration at that time.

Impact on Property Division

Florida judges can’t award one spouse a disproportionate or larger share of marital property because the other spouse cheated. The judge’s decision can’t be punitive against the spouse who strayed. However, if your spouse used marital money on his paramour, Florida allows a judge to include this factor in his decision regarding which spouse receives what property. Florida is an equitable distribution state, meaning that the court doesn’t necessarily split property evenly between spouses but rather in a way that seems fair. This gives a judge a bit of discretion. If your spouse drained marital funds by spending money on his affair, a judge might award you more of the marital property to compensate you for that.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Custody Issues

Judges generally will not refuse a parent visitation because he committed adultery during the marriage. It might affect custody, however. Like most states, Florida courts consider “moral fitness” when deciding who the children live with the majority of the time. If you can prove that your spouse’s affair hurt your children, Florida allows judges to weigh this when deciding custody disputes.


Infidelity can also affect a judge’s decision regarding alimony. Section 61.08 of the Florida Statutes states specifically that the court can consider infidelity when deciding the amount of alimony ordered in a divorce. Like property division, this statute isn’t punitive. Generally, a judge will order an increased amount of alimony to the non-straying spouse if her partner’s infidelity resulted in some circumstance that that affects her financially.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Adultery & Divorce Laws in California



Related articles

Does an Affair Matter in a Divorce in Tennessee?

An affair can be devastating to a marriage. Tennessee allows you obtain a divorce from your spouse based solely on adultery. Understanding how an affair can affect the stages of the divorce process, as well as what defenses may be raised will help you better prepare for a divorce of this type in Tennessee.

Adultery Laws and Alimony

Your spouse’s adulterous relationship may bring an end to your marriage, but it is not always a significant factor in the legal process of divorce. Though many states recognize adultery as grounds for divorce, state laws vary, and when it comes to alimony, your spouse’s adultery may or may not be significant to the divorce court.

What Are the Elements of Dissipation of Assets in a Divorce in Florida?

Some people take “divorce planning” to an extreme. It’s one thing for a spouse to begin collecting copies of financial documents because he knows he’s going to need them when he files for divorce. It’s something else entirely if he begins transferring assets out of the marital estate so a court can’t award half of them to his partner. The marital estate is everything spouses acquire together while they’re married. Whether a spouse dissipates these assets intentionally, or whether he spends marital money on his paramour in the course of having an extramarital affair, divorce courts in Florida take a dim view of it.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

Tennessee Law on Bigamy & Divorce

The law is firm that you can't get married if you're already married to someone else. If you do, it’s bigamy – unless ...

Is Adultery Illegal in Texas?

Adultery isn’t a crime in Texas; a spouse won’t go to jail, earn a criminal record or pay a fine if she strays. ...

What Happens in Cases of Divorce Where Adultery Is Proven?

If your spouse cheated on you, you might assume that his adultery will have a significant effect on your divorce ...

What Happens in a Divorce if the Husband Has Cheated in Illinois?

Experiencing infidelity in a marriage is never an easy thing. If you're divorcing your husband because of his cheating ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED