Can I Sue for Alienation of Affection in Florida?

Can I Sue for Alienation of Affection in Florida?

Laws in Florida have changed drastically concerning what is known as alienation of affection. Since 1945, laws have stated that you are no longer able to sue for alienation of affection in Florida, which is when your spouse is no longer in love with you due to the action of a third party. In fact, Florida Statute Section 771.01 states that your right to recover any sum of money due to alienation of affection has been abolished in the state.

What is Alienation of Affection?

Alienation of affection happens when a third party becomes involved with a spouse, causing the marriage to fall apart between two parties. In these cases, a spouse is not subjected to physical injury but instead suffers from loss of love in their marriage. The deserted spouse files the alienation of affection claim against the party that they believe is responsible for the failing of their marriage.

Unfortunately, if this has happened to you, it is important to note that Florida no longer allows these types of lawsuits in the state. The tort of alienation of affection can only be filed in several states, which include Hawaii, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Dakota, and Utah. To be successful in one of these claims, a plaintiff must be able to show the following aspects:

  • The marriage contained love
  • The love between two people was alienated/destroyed
  • The defendant somehow contributed to the loss of love and affection through their actions

Though you can no longer sue somebody who is responsible for breaking up your marriage in Florida, you may still have options for other types of recovery as you endure a divorce.

What is Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress?

In Florida, the only tort that can be used against a party who came between a marriage is “intentional infliction of emotional distress.” However, this is incredibly difficult to prove due to the conduct needing to be outrageous and intolerable. Though it may seem and even be wrong for somebody to come between a married couple, it may not meet those demands in the eyes of Florida courts.

If you want to successfully move forward with one of these claims, you will need to prove the following:

  • The wrongdoer’s conduct was reckless or intentional in nature
  • The conduct was outrageous and utterly intolerable
  • The conduct caused you severe emotional distress

Is Adultery a Factor When Making Determinations in a Florida Divorce Case?

Florida is known as a no-fault divorce state, which means that a couple can decide to move forward with a divorce just based on the fact that they no longer get along. However, Florida laws state that adultery of either spouse can still be an important factor when determining alimony depending on the circumstances of the case.

When a husband or wife who is being unfaithful in the marriage spends money on their lover outside of the marriage, this can lead to a dissipation of assets. This means that one of the spouses was spending money that should have stayed within the marriage on something outside of the marriage. It also means that the other spouse could receive a larger amount of the marital estate to make it up to them.

Infidelity could also come into consideration when determining alimony in a divorce. Florida courts may use adultery as one of the factors in determining the amount of alimony that a spouse receives. As a general rule, a spouse who has engaged in adultery will not be ordered to pay alimony just because of their infidelity in the marriage, but based on various circumstances.

Contact a Florida Divorce Lawyer for Help

At Robert Sparks Attorneys, we will take your Florida divorce case seriously from start to finish. Our experienced attorneys have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you through these complex and challenging times. Your best interest is our top priority and we will work to help you receive the best results in your divorce case. Please do not hesitate to contact us today for a case review so that you can get working toward the best possible outcome.