By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida
Since Florida is a no fault state, it is very unusual for a husband or wife to be punished for bad behavior such as adultery, being verbally abusive, or leaving the marital home.
But there are exceptions. In the case of adultery, if substantial marital funds were spent on the boyfriend or girlfriend, such as buying him/her a new car or condo, this falls under dissipation of marital assets and the innocent spouse will get more than one half of the remaining assets to make up for the dissipation. Same with spending marital money on gambling, drugs and excess spending.
The recourse for a verbally abusive spouse is divorce itself, so there is no punishment unless the abuse is physical; this then falls under domestic violence statutes and the wrongdoer can be prosecuted.
Abandoning the marital home is not punishable under Florida law, because a husband or wife does not lose their rights or liabilities to the marital home simply by living somewhere else.
There is punishment under Florida law for willfully failing to obey court orders. This is willful contempt of court and the wrongdoer can be sanctioned or jailed. There is punishment also for running up an attorneys bill frivolously, and for frivolous litigation; for failure to produce required documents in divorce cases; for causing opposing party to file motions to compel behavior; for failure to appear at court hearings and depositions.
If you are not sure about your specific situation, call one of the divorce lawyers at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. at 561-835-9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at www.familylawwpb.com for more information.