How Will My Spouse’s Cheating Affect Our Divorce?

woman sitting on the stairs man walking away

A cheating spouse is an emotional blow that many people cannot or will not accept. The emotional effects of your spouse's affair are undeniable, but there is also the separate issue of whether or not the infidelity in question is the impetus behind your divorce. If you are facing a divorce that involves your spouse’s cheating, turn to the professional legal counsel of an experienced Florence divorce attorney.

The Extent of Your Spouse’s Indiscretion

If your spouse has an affair within the confines of your marriage, it is a betrayal that is emotionally painful, and that should not be minimized. This being said, however, there are gradations involved that can range from a one-time thing to an ongoing, lasting relationship conducted in tandem with your marriage. While you may be able to forgive a one-time slip, coming back from a betrayal of the magnitude at the other end of the spectrum may not be possible. The fact that it could be worse does not make a short-term affair any less reprehensible, but the court will take every relevant factor into consideration, including:

  • If the children were directly exposed to the affair

  • The extent of the affair

  • The role the affair played in the dissolution of your marriage

The Division of Your Marital Property

The role that marital infidelity is most likely to play in your divorce is the way that it could affect the division of your marital property. This is especially pertinent if your divorce is fault-based (and predicated on your spouse's infidelity). In Texas, marital property refers to those assets you acquired during the course of your marriage – regardless of who made the purchase or whose name is attached. Upon divorce, this marital property is to be divided equitably, which means fairly in relation to the circumstances of your marriage, and an affair is one such circumstance. Even if your divorce is no fault, the judge can take your spouse’s wrongdoing into consideration in the division of marital property. One factor that the court is likely to find especially compelling is if your ex invested considerable money in the affair – by paying for things like vacations, dinners out, and elaborate gifts.

Your Spouse’s Affair Is Not a Golden Ticket

You should not move forward with your divorce thinking that your ex’s affair is your golden ticket to obtaining all the divorce terms that you seek. Instead, you will need to prepare for your case as diligently as you would if your spouse had not cheated – while recognizing that your spouse’s wrongdoing could move the needle in relation to the division of your marital property. While an affair is unlikely to alter your child custody terms (unless there is a compelling correlation), it could enhance your right to alimony (especially if the affair significantly contributed to the downfall of your marriage). Alternatively, if you are entitled to alimony but your own affair contributed to the dissolution of your marriage, it could void your eligibility.

An Experienced Florence Divorce Attorney Can Help

Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Florence, Texas, is an accomplished divorce attorney who recognizes how difficult your situation is and is well prepared to help. For more information, please do not wait to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 today.


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