Is Emotional Infidelity Grounds For Divorce In Orlando?
It can be difficult to pinpoint and even harder to prove, but an emotional affair or emotional cheating can destroy a marriage. Even if no physical contact has occurred between two people, one of whom is married, confiding one’s innermost thoughts or discussing the possibility of a physical or sexual relationship is often a stepping stone to physical infidelity. Emotionally cheating on a spouse with someone else, maybe a stranger or a close friend, can feel akin to physical cheating to the scorned spouse and it is an act of betrayal. If you found evidence of emotional infidelity in your relationship, is this grounds for divorce in Florida?
What is Considered Adultery?
Florida statute does not explicitly define adultery, but it is considered a criminal misdemeanor. However, generally courts have held that adultery is sexual relations between a married person and someone other than their spouse. Most cases of adultery are not proven with physical evidence, as the other spouse would literally have to be caught in the act. This could be fundamentally impossible to prove if emotional cheating is occurring. However, a spouse can still use circumstantial evidence to prove that the cheating spouse is engaged in an extramarital relationship.
To prove adultery, the plaintiff spouse has to establish that the cheating spouse has the disposition to commit adultery and opportunity to commit adultery. Disposition could be established if the plaintiff sees her husband holding hands, flirting, or kissing another person. Disposition could also be shown through proof of illicit text messages, sexting, or phone logs. Opportunity can be proven if a person’s whereabouts establish they are meeting up with the person they are engaged in an extramarital relationship with, or are caught physically cheating.
Filing for Divorce
If you suspect your spouse is engaged in emotional infidelity and you do not think there is hope for the marriage you have a choice to file a limited divorce or absolute divorce. Limited divorce, or pendente lite, provides the plaintiff temporary financial support from the defendant before a final divorce hearing. Pendente lite support allows the plaintiff spouse to maintain the family home and support themselves before a final divorce hearing is on the calendar. Some parties choose to file for absolute divorce immediately, which will trigger a scheduling order for discovery to take place, and a hearing date.
However, it is important to keep in mind that when filing, you do not have to claim adultery as the grounds for your separation and seeking a divorce. Florida is a no-fault divorce state, meaning the plaintiff does not have to prove fault on the part of the defendant to be granted a divorce, even if adultery occurred. Fla. Stat. §61.052(a). Sometimes logistically or financially speaking, it can become burdensome trying to establish proof of adultery or emotional infidelity for court proceedings, but a scorned plaintiff wants it on the record. If your goal is to be divorced as soon as possible, while still getting an equitable share of joint assets, it is often easier and more economical to simply file under no-fault grounds than to file for divorce under the grounds of adultery.
Contact Orlando Divorce Attorneys at Donna Hung Law Group
If you suspect your partner is cheating or engaging in emotional infidelity, you do not have to settle for it. Divorce is nothing to be ashamed of. You deserve a partner who will cherish and respect you. Our Orlando divorce attorneys at Donna Hung Law Group understand the sensitive nature of divorce and separation, and if hired, will zealously represent you and protect your interests.