Affair Despair? How to Deal with Adultery in a Texas Divorce
by Deron Sugg
Clients rarely understand exactly how an affair will affect their divorce, and their lack of knowledge makes perfect sense. Why? The research is too dangerous! Whether you’re the spouse engaging in extramarital relations or the one who is suspicious, the last thing you want is for the other to know you’re brushing up on the issue. But knowing what infidelity means in the context of a divorce is paramount to developing strategy and understanding what to expect in the divorce process. Here are a few navigation tips:
Tell Your Lawyer
Many clients try to avoid the topic, even when they are the one being cheated on. Your attorney needs to know—and from the outset.
Know the Law and its Limitations
The court may grant a divorce on the fault basis of adultery, but the real question is how an affair will affect the final outcome. So, how can an affair affect a divorce? Property division. Courts are obligated to divide marital estates in a “just and right” manner and have wide latitude in doing so. They can consider any number of factors including, but not limited to, age of the parties, education, business opportunities, relative physical conditions, separate estates, the nature of the property being divided, and, of course, fault in the breakup of the marriage. As such, a court could indeed find an affair played a role in a marriage’s breakdown and use it as a factor in dividing the marital estate. READ MORE …