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Do Texas divorce courts take into account infidelity?

In Texas, you have the option of filing a no-fault divorce. That means that neither party is obliged to prove to the court that the other party is at fault for the marriage not working out. Still, a spouse can seek to prove fault in a Texas divorce, and the court may weigh that fault when determining the equitable division of the spouses' community property.

For instance, Texas courts will recognize a number of faults in a divorce. One is adultery. If a spouse cheats, and the cheated-upon spouse can prove as much, then a judge might be inclined to award more alimony or a larger portion of the community property to the wronged spouse. Proving the infidelity of your husband or wife may take some strategic planning, though, and anyone faced with this dilemma should consult with an attorney before going forward.

Another issue are the family assets that a spouse has spent on a girlfriend or boyfriend. For instance, if a husband or wife misuses community property, such as a credit card, to buy gifts for a girlfriend or boyfriend, then the sum of those wasted funds could be taken into account by the divorce court.

Child custody decisions can also be affected by proof of adultery. It isn't hard to imagine how an extramarital affair, in the event that a child is exposed to it, could be detrimental to that child's well-being.

A lot of people choose not to seek proof of adultery in divorce cases, just because infidelity can be difficult to prove and very painful to revisit.

In any case, if Houston residents think that infidelity may be a factor in their divorce proceedings, then consulting with an attorney is good step toward creating an appropriate strategy.

Source: Huffington Post, "Why An Affair May Not Matter In Your Divorce," Susan Saper Galamba, April 29, 2013

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