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The role of adultery in Texas divorce

| Sep 23, 2020 | Divorce |

If you decide to divorce in Texas, you can choose from either a no-fault or fault-based divorce. If you pursue a fault-based divorce because your spouse was unfaithful, the adultery may affect spousal support and property division.

Before filing for divorce in Texas, review what state law says about fault.

Division of property

With some exceptions, assets and debts acquired by either you or your spouse during the marriage constitute community property. In general, Texas requires an equal division of community assets and debts.

If you ask for a fault-based divorce, the judge has the discretion to divert fewer assets to the at-fault spouse. Often, the spouse asking for a fault-based divorce will receive a larger share of community property if the other person wasted marital funds or used them to conduct an extramarital affair.

Spousal support

You will not have to pay alimony if your spouse committed adultery, even if he or she meets other requirements for support. Texas only awards spousal support in cases with one of these circumstances:

  • You experienced domestic violence at the hands of your spouse in the past two years.
  • The marriage lasted at least a decade and you cannot become financially self-supporting.
  • You cannot hold a job because of a mental or physical health condition.
  • You cannot hold a job because you care for your minor child who has a physical or mental health condition.

Although you can ask for sole custody in a divorce, adultery does not necessarily impact a custody request. However, your spouse may not qualify for joint custody if he or she abandoned the family for an extended time.

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