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Yes, The Court Can Order You To Pay Alimony Even If Your Ex-Spouse Cheated On You


In the context of equitable distribution, equitable means fair, but it doesn’t mean equal.  Many couples going through divorce disagree about the fairest way to divide their marital assets.  In the age of no-fault divorce, courts usually do not try to assign blame to one spouse and then divide the marital property in a way that puts the innocent spouse at a financial advantage.  In some cases, you can allege marital misconduct on the part of your spouse and ask the court to count that misconduct against your spouse when dividing the marital property, but misconduct that matters in this context is only financial misconduct.  In the post-sexual revolution era, adultery by itself does not count as marital misconduct.  That means that, even if your ex-spouse cheated on you, your ex is still entitled to their fair share of the marital property.  The court can even order you to pay alimony to your cheating ex if it determines that your ex needs the alimony and you have the means to pay it.  If your ex-spouse played you for a fool during your marriage, a Palm Beach County divorce lawyer can help you start a new life without your cheating ex and with your financial stability intact.

When Love Crashes at the Same Time as the Housing Market

Anthony and Sharon met in the 1990s, when they both worked for IBM.  In addition to her annual salary of $45,000, Sharon was receiving $520 per month in workers’ compensation benefits.  Anthony’s salary was much higher, and by the time the parties filed for divorce in 2011, he was earning upwards of $450,000 per year.  While Sharon was physically capable of working, she suffered from numerous medical problems, including chronic pain, so the parties agreed that she would quit working when her workers’ compensation claim settled, which happened soon after the parties married.

The parties lived comfortably on Anthony’s income; they bought a $1.8 million house on the Intracoastal Waterway, but the marriage fell apart because of Sharon’s extramarital affair.  By the time of their divorce trial, the house was worth $1.1 million, but the parties owed $1.3 million on the mortgage, meaning that it had about $200,000 of negative equity.  The court divided the responsibility for the negative equity equally, and it awarded the house to Anthony, requiring Sharon to vacate.  Despite Anthony’s protests that Sharon should not get alimony because of her adultery, the court ordered him to pay durational alimony for ten years.  The parties disagreed about the amount of alimony Sharon should get.  The appeals court judge noted that the trial court should make findings as to whether to impute income to Sharon, because she was capable of working, despite being out of the workforce for a long time.

Let Us Help You Today

A Boca Raton divorce lawyer can help you move on after the economy has tanked and your spouse has betrayed your trust.  Contact Schwartz | White for a consultation.



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