Infidelity Is Not Illegal, But It Can Affect the Outcome of Your Divorce
If your spouse has entered into an affair outside of marriage, it is likely a painful jolt that could make you either consider – or move forward with – divorce proceedings. It is not uncommon for spouses to wonder if infidelities such as this are illegal, and the simple answer is no, they are not illegal in the State of Texas. However, the fact that it is not unlawful does not mean that your spouse’s infidelity will not affect the outcome of your divorce case.
Obtaining a Fault-Based Divorce in Texas
Texas has both no-fault and fault-based divorces, and while the vast majority of divorces are no-fault, some are predicated directly on the fault of one spouse. If you can successfully argue that your spouse’s affair is responsible for the failure of your marriage, it can support a divorce based on fault, which can significantly affect the terms of your divorce – specifically the division of your marital property (called community property in Texas) and alimony.
The Division of Your Marital Property
That property that you and your spouse bring into the marriage with you – and keep separate throughout – is separate property that will likely remain yours alone upon divorce. However, the assets that you acquire during the time you are married are marital property that – upon divorce – will be divided equitably between the two of you. Equitable here means fair under the circumstances inherent to your marriage. The fact of infidelity can skew fair away from an equal division and toward a division that favors you. This outcome is by no means a given, but it does happen. The following factors tend to play a pivotal role:
The judge you are assigned
The exact circumstances involved
Whether your divorcing spouse used marital resources in the course of his or her affair
The judge assigned to your case has considerable discretion in the matter, but the fact of an affair is not something that is going to reflect well upon your spouse.
Alimony is a financial remedy the court can employ to help the spouse with fewer financial means find his or her financial footing post-divorce via (usually temporary) payments from the spouse with the financial ability to help. Alimony is often predicated on income erosion – when one spouse allows his or her career to dwindle to support his or her spouse’s career or to stay home and raise the children. If alimony plays a role in your divorce, your spouse’s affair could affect both the duration and amount of your payments.
An Experienced Killeen Family Law Attorney Can Help
Divorce is messy, and an affair makes it more so. Attorney Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard – proudly serving Killeen, Texas – understands how difficult this is for you and is committed to helping you weather the storm and emerge on the other side with divorce terms that support your rights and favor your future. We are on your side, so please do not wait to contact us online or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information today.