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What does Florida lawsuit against ‘other woman’ teach others?

Perhaps it sounds silly to you. A husband cheated on his wife. The wife finds out, gets upset and files a lawsuit against the woman with whom her husband had an affair.

The situation begs a deep question: is the woman trying to ease emotional hurt with legal tools? That is up to the Florida woman to ponder and decide. From a family law, legal perspective, this case might have more cause than simply hurt feelings.

There are some serious, significant financial considerations in this case to consider, too. According to news reports, the marital estate of the couple in this story is large. The woman and her estranged husband both claim that the husband has spent millions of their marital funds in order to support his affair.

Any divorce includes the process of property division. Florida uses equitable distribution laws, which tend to lean toward 50/50 division but also rely on what is fair. If there is no doubt that an affair has occurred and led to the breakdown of a marriage and the divorce filing, a court might let an affair impact financial terms of a divorce.

This especially may be true if the court sees that a significant portion of a marital estate was spent on a party’s infidelity. Sources indicate that the husband in this case affirms that he has spent at least $11 million to support the other woman in her life.

How will the wife’s lawsuit against the other woman turn out? We cannot say. From a divorce law perspective, it is safer to say that the concern regarding money spent on an affair does have a place within an alimony and possibly a property division argument. She does have rights as a wife within a divorce process to try to protect the dissipation of the assets within her marital estate.

Did adultery play a role in moving you or your spouse toward divorce? If so, while this news story is somewhat of an unusual case, it serves as an valuable reminder. Talk to your trusted family law attorney about the financial impact an affair might have had or continues to have on your joint assets.

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