You promise to honor and love your spouse until death as part of your marriage vows. While you may have taken that promise seriously, not everyone does. It can be very difficult to learn that the person you committed to has violated the trust you placed in them. Quite a few marriages end because one spouse chooses to develop an intimate relationship with someone else.
Occasionally, people can work through infidelity, sometimes through the use of counseling or other times by signing a postnuptial agreement that creates penalties for the unfaithful spouse if they cheat again in the future. Regardless of what reaction you have and what attempts you make to save your marriage, sometimes it simply isn’t possible to do so.
If you find yourself considering divorce because of your spouse’s infidelity, you will probably wonder how their cheating will impact the outcome of the divorce. Every state has its own laws, which means that you want to familiarize yourself with how Texas handles infidelity during divorce proceedings.
Unless you have a contract, infidelity doesn’t carry much weight
Infidelity can ruin your marriage and undermine both your self-esteem and ability to trust other people in the future. However, the courts are not likely to penalize your ex for the personal impact of that affair. When Texas courts begin to split up your assets, they will look at the circumstances of your marriage and your individual earning potential.
However, they will not consider marital misconduct when determining who gets which possessions from your marriage. Simply put, cheating behavior doesn’t influence who gets what at the end of a marriage unless there is a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement on record that authorizes penalties for an adulterous spouse.
An affair will also have very little or no impact on the allocation of parental responsibilities. You might feel like the presence of your ex’s new partner in the lives of your children only adds insult to injury, but the courts are unlikely to prevent that relationship from developing. The only time the courts will consider an affair when allocating parenting time is if that new partner has a dangerous criminal record or has lost custody of their children because of abuse or neglect.
The courts may hold your ex accountable for the cost of the affair
The only real financial impact an affair has on the average divorce is if there are allegations of dissipation. Dissipation involves the inappropriate use of marital funds or community property for something that undermines or damages the marital relationship. Some spouses engage in dissipation by giving away valuable assets before filing for divorce to keep their spouse from claiming those assets.
Others may spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on hotel rooms, gifts and fancy restaurants for their affair. If you have documentation of the money your ex spent on the affair, the courts may consider those amounts when deciding how to split up your other assets in the divorce.