Spousal Misconduct During the Florida Divorce Process
Once Florida divorce proceedings are underway, parties experiencing strong emotions are sometimes tempted to engage in misconduct that affects the process. Spite and negativity are often motivating factors, while other acts could be an attempt to influence decisions regarding child custody and visitation. A spouse may even purposefully overspend or hide assets to affect determinations on property division and alimony.
Regardless of the motivation, dishonesty and misconduct are never appropriate in divorce – and may even be unlawful. If you suspect foul play, the time is now to retain a Dade City divorce lawyer to protect your interests. Some background information may also help you realize the serious nature of misconduct in divorce.
Types of Divorce Misconduct That Affect Your Rights: There are two ways a party’s conduct is unlawful during divorce: Violation of a Florida statute and failure to comply with an order entered by the divorce court. Specific types of wrongdoing that commonly arise in divorce cases include:
- Excessive Spending: Neither party should be dissipating the marital estate through unnecessary, luxury spending. Unless expenditures were a frequent occurrence during the marriage, there may be consequences if one spouse goes on a shopping spree or excessive vacation.
- Hiding Assets: When one party is concealing marital property from the court, the judge does not have the full picture when determining asset division. The other spouse, who is entitled to an equitable distribution of assets, will receive less. In addition, dishonesty in disclosing assets can also adversely affect alimony and child support, because that individual’s net worth is reduced.
- Interference with Child Custody and Visitation: When a judge issues an order on custody and visitation, it has the legal effect of a law. A parent’s attempt to disrupt the schedule may constitute a violation.
- Failure to Pay Alimony or Child Support: Court orders on these issues are also legally binding, so non-compliance can have consequences.
Strategies for Addressing Divorce Misconduct: When your soon-to-be-ex violates Florida divorce laws or defies a judge’s order, you should bring the misconduct to the attention of the court right away. This form of wrongdoing may be a type of contempt, so the judge can issue penalties in addition to righting the wrong. If your spouse is concealing assets, Florida laws on discovery provide you with investigative tools. You can use requests for documents to gain access to tax returns and salary information; interrogatories – written questions that must be answered under oath – are also a way to obtain details. Plus, you can require a party to appear for a deposition, which is an in-person interview.
Credibility: When a person takes action that is either in violation of a court order or dishonest, those actions impact the credibility of that party before the Court and can have long term repercussions on a case.
Discuss Divorce Misconduct and Remedies with a Florida Divorce Attorney
These types of misconduct and many others can have profound consequences for your financial and personal interests in divorce, and possibly your rights as a parent. For more information on strategies to investigate wrongdoing and bring it to the court’s attention, please contact The Law Office of Laurie R. Chane. You can set up a consultation at our location in Dade City, FL by calling 352-567-0055 or checking us out online.