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Will my ex’s infidelity affect our divorce?

Feb 7, 2020 | Divorce

The impact of adultery on marriage is clear, but the impact on divorce may not be so clear. To what if any extent does an ex’s infidelity affect the divorce process?

Procedural impact

Parties can pursue a no-fault divorce or a fault-based divorce in Texas. Adultery is one of the grounds on which courts can grant a fault-based divorce. If you have evidence of infidelity, you could pursue a fault-based divorce. This may be a better option if your spouse does not want to get divorced, or if you are attempting for whatever reason to improve your share of any settlement.  That said, most people pursue no-fault divorces.

Dispute resolution methods

Infidelity can trigger numerous difficult emotions and communication obstacles. Non-cheating parties can feel wronged and unwilling to negotiate, while adulterous parties can feel ashamed and scared.

If either party is unwilling to communicate, options like mediation or collaboration may be all but impossible. On the other hand, seeking as swift of a resolution as possible through mediation or collaboration could minimize the embarrassment, and make it easier for each party to go their separate ways.

Financial implications of infidelity

The financial impact of cheating depends on numerous factors. For instance, courts may award a larger portion of the marital assets to the non-cheating spouse; particularly in cases where the other person spent significant amounts of money on an extramarital affair. In these cases, the Court and your Family Law Attorney will calculate the amount of money wasted on the paramour and request the estate to be reconstituted to the value before the affair.

The courts may also take adultery into account when awarding alimony, but there are no guarantees. And in some cases, courts can deny alimony for a person who engaged in extramarital affairs.

Infidelity and child custody, support

Just because a person was not a good spouse does not mean he or she is not a good parent. Therefore, infidelity generally will not affect custody and visitation. However, there are exceptions. For instance, if the adulterous party abandoned the child or exposed the child to unsafe situations, his or her parenting capabilities could be called into question.