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Spousal support overturned for cheating wife

The manner in which family law courts approach alimony is changing, and many states are considering legislation that would reduce the amount paid and/or the duration of those payments. In Florida and elsewhere, the spousal support guidelines of today could be very different in the years to come. Often, court outcomes in one state will have an impact on how similar matters are addressed in other states. Such may be the case in regard to alimony payments for spouses who have committed adultery.

The case in question included a wealthy man and his wife. The man was the primary breadwinner for the family, and he supported his wife and their two children. The wife had a deep interest in the arts, and her husband supported that interest by taking her to the symphony, theater and opera. He even paid for professional recordings for her band.

When the couple divorced, the wife received a total of $1.8 million in cash and retirement funds. The husband was also ordered to pay spousal support. As part of the divorce hearings, the woman admitted to having multiple affairs while married to her husband, including relationships with her personal trainer and a member of her band.

The husband appealed, and the Court of Appeals reversed the spousal support order. A judge considered it an injustice to order the husband to support his former wife, who holds a degree in mechanical engineering and gained a significant volume of wealth in the divorce settlement. The judge also made mention of the fact that it was the wife's actions that led to the destruction of the marriage, not choices made by the husband. For many Florida readers, this outcome seems just. For others, the case serves as a warning that adultery can be considered as a factor during spousal support cases.

Source: courthousenews.com, "Court Tosses Support for Adulterous Wife", Jeff D.Gorman, April 14, 2016

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