Can I Sue the Person My Spouse Cheated on Me With?
Many marriages have broken up because one of the spouses infidelity during the marriage. This is devastating to learn and sometimes, the spouse that has been wronged wants to sue the person their spouse cheated with and claim compensation. In Florida, this is very difficult to do. Prior to 1945, individuals had many options for suing the new person in their spouse’s life. The law that allowed a person to do that was abolished in 1945 and today there is only one way to sue your spouse’s new romantic interest, and it is very challenging.
Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
The only tortious action a person can file now against the person their spouse cheated on them with is a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress. Filing these actions during a divorce, or afterwards, is difficult. When filing these actions, you must prove:
- The wrongdoer intended to cause emotional distress as a result of their actions,
- The action taken by the wrongdoer was outrageous and considered intolerable in a civilized society,
- The wrongdoing caused emotional distress, and
- The emotional distress was substantial
The hardest element of proof when filing a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress against the new person in your spouse’s life is the second element. Adultery is not considered outrageous and while the thought is unpleasant, most people do not think it is intolerable in a civilized society. As such, filing a claim for compensation after your spouse had an affair is extremely challenging.
Terms of Divorce Affected by Adultery
Even though it is likely not worthwhile to sue the person your spouse cheated on you with, that does not mean it will not have an impact on your divorce case. The family courts in Florida will consider certain misconduct in the marriage when making decisions on certain issues during the divorce.
For example, if the person a spouse had an affair with spent money on the spouse during the affair, a judge may reduce the amount of alimony they receive. Or, if a spouse spent marital funds on an affair, a judge may award the other side more in property division.
One of the biggest impacts of a new relationship, regardless of whether it happened during the marriage or afterwards, is the effect it has on the children involved. It is important that no matter how unhappy the other spouse is, they allow the relationship to continue and for the children to be introduced to the new person. Refusing to allow an introduction to happen can be seen as parental alienation by the courts, which will hurt the aggrieved spouse in child custody matters.
Our Florida Divorce Lawyers can Help with Your Case
Divorce is never easy, particularly when your spouse has already started another relationship. At O’Mara Law Group, our Orlando family lawyers can make it easier. We will advise on the facts of your case, and help you secure the best settlement possible. Call us today at (407) 634-6604 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more about how we can help.