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Marital Misconduct

Florida is a “no fault” state and this is not commonly known by individuals in Florida seeking a divorce. In other words, the fact that one spouse had an affair and the other did not, or perhaps both spouses “cheated” is often not evidence that the Family Judge will consider. More often than not, the Judge will not hear or consider testimony about this conduct.

Forms of marital misconduct that the Judge may consider are conduct which “dissipates” marital assets. Examples of a spouse concealing, transferring and/or hiding assets is misconduct the Judge will consider. There are cases where a spouse may have decided to divorce his or her spouse several years earlier and started the transfer of the marital assets long before a divorce proceeding is filed by him or her. In some instances a spouse may have transferred marital money or items of personal property to a family member or business partner in an effort to conceal the asset. Issues, such as these, may be brought to the attention of the Family Judge. Or there may a decrease in income that is voluntary and intentional, and the spouse may try to present a false inability to pay alimony, or false or inflated need receive alimony.

A common form of misconduct occurs when one spouse spends money on his or her boyfriend /girlfriend, traveling together, buying gifts such as jewelry or clothing and thus depleting the marital funds. It is important for you to have a competent experienced lawyer to represent you in your divorce proceeding.