How Do Texas Divorce Courts Handle Cheating Husbands or Wives in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area? A Divorce Attorney Explains.

If you or your divorcing spouse engaged in adultery during your marriage, then it can play a role in your impending divorce, but that role may not be as significant as you imagine.

If you’re going through a divorce, it can be helpful for you to know the basics about Texas divorce laws about adultery and what happens in a divorce if you commit adultery. Of course, anyone involved in a divorce should retain an experienced Texas divorce attorney to protect their rights.

How Do Texas Divorce Courts Handle Cheating Husbands or Wives in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area

What is Considered Adultery in Texas?

Adultery is a legal term used when a married person voluntarily has sexual intercourse with someone who is not his or her spouse.

Sexual acts that aren’t intercourse do not reach the level of legal adultery. This means that, if your spouse is having a heated online or telephonic relationship – including exchanging explicit photos – while you likely consider it cheating, it does not meet Texas’s legal definition of adultery.

How Does Adultery Impact Divorce in Texas?

If your spouse is found to have committed adultery during your marriage, then it does not affect your eligibility for spousal maintenance or alimony. Further, his or her adulterous behavior will likely not affect the child custody arrangements that emanate from your divorce.

The thinking goes that being a bad spouse doesn’t make a person a bad parent. If, on the other hand, you’re already eligible for spousal support, then your partner’s adultery could play a role in the amount and duration of your maintenance award.

Texas is a no-fault divorce state, which basically means that neither of you needs to prove that your partner engaged in any wrongdoing in order to obtain a divorce. However, grounds of fault can play a role when it comes to the division of your community property, which is foundational to the divorce process.

In Texas, your property is split according to a division that is considered “just and right” and is not divided exactly in half. If you can prove that your spouse engaged in adultery while you were married, then you are entitled to request that you receive a disproportionate amount of the marital property. Unlike many other states, Texas courts consider adultery when deciding how to divide the couple’s property in a divorce. A spouse who was unfaithful may receive a smaller share of the couple’s property and funds. Courts will also take into account any money spent on an affair, such as money spent on trips, hotels, or gifts.

Can Adultery Impact Your Child Custody?

If it can be proven that the cheating spouse is involved with a person who may be a bad influence on the child or their relationship may disrupt the child’s stability an experienced divorce attorney can fight for you to get full custody of your child. 

Texas law typically doesn’t allow adultery to be considered when deciding child custody and visitation. Courts focus more on the parenting abilities of each parent when deciding which spouse will have custody of the children. Adultery can indirectly impact child custody or visitation, however, if a spouse abandoned the children while having the affair.

If you need a Texas divorce attorney, then you should call our law offices today at any of our convenient locations and get a free consultation.  

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