Adultery in Alimony Cases in Florida

In making an alimony award, adultery and infidelity can only be considered by the trial judge when the adulterous conduct involves the dissipation of marital assets. In a case captioned Keyser v. Keyser, the parties were married for twenty-years. This is considered a long term marriage. When there is a long term marriage, there is an initial presumption that an award of permanent alimony is appropriate. It was also alleged in Keyser v. Keyser that one of the spouses engaged in marital infidelity.

The Florida Court of Appeal recently stated that in making an alimony award, a trial judge is permitted to consider a spouse’s infidelity. The Florida Court of Appeal pointed out that Florida Statutes Section 61.08(1), allows the trial judge to consider adultery in making an alimony award. However, the Court stated that without a showing that marital assets were used to support the allegedly adulterous behavior, infidelity is not an appropriate basis for awarding a larger share of the parties’ marital assets to the innocent spouse. The Appellate Court also stated that adultery is not a sufficient basis to deny an award of alimony to the other spouse. Finally, even if adultery does take place, the payor’s ability to pay and the payee’s need are the primary factors that the trial court should consider in making an alimony award 61.08. In making an alimony award the trial court must first determine whether the payor has the ability to pay alimony and whether the recipient has an actual need for alimony before it considers the other statutory factors set out in Florida Statutes Section 61.08.

To speak with an alimony attorney in Palm Beach County, contact Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A. at (561) 363-3400.