Sex, Adultery, Divorce, and the Law

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

With economic strains on a marriage, a common response is to seek comfort in the arms of a lover.  And it is not always the husband who strays!  If you find your marriage failing, and you’ve tried counseling to no avail, you may decide that a divorce is imminent.  How does the extramarital affair play into the terms of your legal divorce.

In the state of Florida, it doesn’t.  Florida is a no fault state.  You only need Florida residency for 6 months and to declare in your opinion that the marriage is irretrieveably broken in order to get a divorce.  If one spouse wants the divorce, the other spouse has no say in the matter, and a divorce will be granted.

Back to the extra marital affair…there are two exceptions where adultery would have any impact on the divorce.  If children are detrimentally being harmed in some way, (i.e. sex with the paramour in front of the children, or kids being forced to call a girlfriend “Mommy”), or if the spouse is spending SUBSTANTIAL amounts of marital funds on the paramour (i.e. if a husband purchases a condo for a girlfriend with his income from his job).  

In the first case regarding the children, the recourse under the law is supervised or shortened visitation, and custody to the other spouse.  In the second case, an accounting of all the monies spent on the paramour, results in equitable distribution credits or dollars awarded back to the financially injured spouse. 

Unlike other states, for example, New York, where adultery is “grounds” for divorce, and “punishable” in divorce court, Florida does not have such laws.  For more information, click on the Robin Roshkind, P.A. website at or consult with one of the attorneys at the Firm by calling 561-835-9091.


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