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Assessing the impact of infidelity on a Texas divorce

On Behalf of | Jun 14, 2023 | Divorce |

A whirlwind of emotions can follow the discovery of infidelity in a marriage. The road to divorce often proves rocky, with the unfaithful partner’s actions creating waves of doubt, anger and confusion.

Does infidelity, however, truly affect the outcome of a divorce proceeding in Texas? This question sparks curiosity in many individuals undergoing divorce due to a partner’s unfaithfulness.

Texas is a no-fault divorce state

Primarily, Texas is a “no-fault” divorce state. This means that a spouse does not need to prove that the other spouse did something wrong to cause the divorce. Therefore, it is entirely possible to obtain a divorce without mentioning infidelity.

However, Texas also allows for fault-based divorce, which includes adultery as one of the grounds. If a spouse chooses to pursue a fault-based divorce due to adultery, they must prove the infidelity occurred, which can impact the divorce in a few ways.

Effect on division of property

Texas law dictates that the court divide marital property in a manner that is “just and right.” Although this generally means a 50/50 split, the court can take infidelity into account when dividing assets. The unfaithful spouse may end up receiving less than half of the marital property.

Influence on spousal maintenance

Infidelity can also impact spousal maintenance (also known as alimony). While not a guarantee, courts in Texas may award additional spousal maintenance to the faithful spouse, particularly if the unfaithful spouse spent significant marital assets on the affair.

Impact on child custody

Contrary to what some might believe, infidelity does not typically have a direct impact on child custody decisions unless the unfaithfulness somehow negatively affected the children. The court’s primary concern is the best interests of the child, not the moral failings of the parents.

While Texas is a no-fault divorce state, infidelity can potentially influence the outcome of a divorce. However, every case is unique, and the impact of infidelity varies widely depending on the specific circumstances.