Infidelity is one of the most common reasons for a divorce in Tampa. However, Florida divorce law is clear in that it doesn’t recognize fault. So, no matter what the cause is, you don’t need to prove anything as a grounds for divorce. With that said, having evidence and proof can certainly factor into issues that are present with any divorce case.
At Robert Sparks Attorneys, we offer guidance on preparing for divorce and navigating its complexities, especially in cases involving infidelity. Contact us today to set up a one-on-one consultation if you’d like to learn more about the process.
Do You Need to Prove Your Spouse Was Cheating in Tampa?
The short answer here depends on the circumstances. Florida is a “no-fault” divorce state, which means that:
- You don’t need to provide proof of anything other than the marriage is “irretrievably broken.”
With that said, infidelity is certainly a common reason for divorce and factors into things in the following ways:
- Spousal support – Infidelity may impact spousal support, also known as alimony, if the infidelity led to the decrease of marital assets, such as spending money on an affair. Additionally, if the unfaithful spouse earns significantly more than the other, it might influence the court’s decision on alimony.
- Child custody – In Tampa, and throughout Florida, the primary focus in child custody cases is the best interests of the child. Infidelity, on its own, might not be a decisive factor unless it directly affects the child’s well-being. For example, if the extramarital affair creates an unstable environment or negatively impacts the parent-child relationship, it could influence the court’s decision on custody arrangements. It’s essential to demonstrate how infidelity is relevant to the child’s welfare.
- Asset distribution – Florida follows the principle of equitable distribution when it comes to dividing marital assets. Infidelity itself may not directly impact asset distribution unless it has financial implications. For instance, if marital funds were used to support an extramarital relationship, the court might consider this when dividing assets. Additionally, if the unfaithful spouse spent considerable resources on the affair, it could affect the overall financial picture and influence the distribution of assets.
In a Tampa divorce, while infidelity might matter, the courts mostly consider clear factors like money contributions, parenting skills, and the well-being of everyone involved. With that said, having proof of your spouse cheating can be important in negotiations, and if necessary, in the court’s decision.
What Evidence Do You Need Regarding Infidelity in a Tampa Divorce?
Just because you don’t need specific grounds for a divorce in Tampa doesn’t mean that you can’t use evidence of infidelity and other wrongs in negotiations and case proceedings. As it relates specifically to cheating, you can use a number of different types of evidence to show how it not only contributed to the breakdown of the marriage, but also in how the court should decide important things:
- Recordings – While Florida has strict laws regarding invasion of privacy, if conducted legally, recordings like photographs or videos may be admissible. This could be relevant in situations where the extramarital relationship has a direct impact on the well-being of the family or children.
- Communications – Gather any relevant communication records, such as text messages, emails, or social media interactions that indicate an extramarital affair. These can help establish the timing and nature of the infidelity.
- Financial records – If the infidelity involves financial transactions, like expenses related to the affair, provide financial records that show the use of marital funds. This could be relevant in cases where the dissipation of marital assets becomes a consideration.
- Witness testimony – If there were witnesses to the infidelity, such as friends, family members, or colleagues, their testimony may be valuable. However, it’s important to consider the credibility of witnesses and whether their statements align with other evidence.
- Admissions or confessions – If the unfaithful spouse has made any admissions or confessions regarding the affair, these can be powerful pieces of evidence. This might include written or verbal statements acknowledging the infidelity.
- Private investigation reports – In some cases, hiring a licensed private investigator may be an option. They can gather information discreetly and provide a detailed report, which could be used as evidence in court.
How Can You Make Sure Your Recording is Admissible?
Remember, it’s crucial to consult with our divorce lawyers before attempting to gather evidence or take any legal action. We can guide you on the specific requirements and limitations regarding evidence in Tampa divorce cases and help make sure that your actions are within the legal boundaries:
- Consent – Florida generally requires consent from all parties in an audio or video recording. Yet, if one party is aware and agrees, you can legally record without informing others involved.
- Privacy caution – When recording, be careful where and when to avoid invading privacy. Recording in private spaces where privacy is expected may cause legal problems.
- Clear recordings – Make sure recordings are clear and audible. Poor quality recordings may not be accepted as they don’t faithfully represent the conversation.
- Document the details – Keep thorough notes about recording circumstances, including date, time, location, and people involved. This helps establish context and authenticity.
- Prove authenticity – If your recordings face challenges, be ready to prove their authenticity. Maintain a chain of custody for devices or files to show they haven’t been tampered with.
No matter what the circumstances are that lead to your divorce, protecting your rights and interests is crucial. That’s where our team can help.
Let Robert Sparks Attorneys Help You Through a Tampa Divorce
At Robert Sparks Attorneys, we are dedicated to assisting our clients in Tampa through the difficulties and intricacies of divorce. Our team can assess your evidence and make sure that your rights are properly defended. Contact us today to set up your consultation to get started.