Marriage is a lifetime commitment. However, adultery, or cheating on a spouse by having voluntary sexual relations with another person, breaks the core of a marital relationship. It destroys the trust that binds a couple together.
In Texas, adultery is one of the grounds for a fault divorce. The court may award the request if the petitioning spouse can provide direct or circumstantial evidence, whether through text messages, photos or videos, that clearly and positively presents that the extramarital affair happened.
Knowing how adultery affects significant divorce issues can prepare parties for potential consequences and protect their child’s welfare.
Bracing for impact
Infidelity by itself does not automatically influence the court’s ruling on divorce issues, unless a party can establish the following specific circumstances:
- Property division: If a spouse uses marital assets to fund their adulterous relationship, the court may deem it fair to compensate the other spouse with a more substantial share.
- Child support and custody: Being an unfaithful spouse does not necessarily equate to being a bad parent. However, the court often weighs how infidelity affects the parent-child relationship. The judge may consider that it is not in the child’s best interests for the parent to compromise quality time with their child due to their new relationship.
- Alimony: The court decides the amount and duration of spousal maintenance depending on relevant factors, including marital misconduct. While it is not a deciding factor, the judge may exercise broad discretion in assessing the family’s financial situation.
Pursuing an at-fault divorce based on adultery may consume more time and money than an uncontested option. Thus, individuals must evaluate their intentions. If they do it out of spite or to punish their spouse, they must contemplate how the process can potentially damage their child’s well-being.
Moving past the betrayal
Infidelity is a devastating blow with unimaginable pain. However, a committed legal counsel can take on the fight and work on favorable outcomes. They can help close the painful chapter and advance to a healed future.