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Could infidelity boost the settlement in a Texas divorce?

Friday, September 22, 2017

Infidelity is a common reason cited in a divorce, but will it actually cost the guilty spouse when it comes time for a divorce settlement? The answer normally depends on the state the couple lives in. Some states have no-fault divorce laws, meaning the couple does not have to explain or list a reason for why the marriage may have failed. Texas couples can file for a 'no fault' divorce, but if a spouse has been unfaithful, the courts may take the indiscretion under consideration for the property settlement. This could encourage a spouse in our state to seek a Texas divorce on the ground of adultery when evidence exists of an extramarital relationship.

Infidelity can definitely affect the divorce settlement if a prenuptial agreement is involved. Some of these agreements have clauses in them in the event of an extramarital affair that allows for one party to receive an additional monetary award. Others may be more specific and detail a transfer of property or other awards if infidelity is discovered. One woman had an agreement that entitled her to her husband's real estate holdings if she was able to prove her husband was having an affair.

If there is evidence of a large amount of money being used to fund an affair, it could also affect the divorce settlement. One woman found out her husband was cheating and it was later discovered he was spending $5,000 per month on an apartment and had done so for two years. The woman ended up receiving $120,000 in addition to her alimony to compensate her for her husband's actions. Tracking the financial behavior of a spouse can often lead to evidence of an extramarital affair, but caution is advised because some actions such as logging into a spouse's Facebook or email could backfire during divorce proceedings.

It is possible infidelity could affect a Texas divorce settlement, especially when a prenuptial agreement exists. When a spouse is on the non-guilty side of an affair, it may help to enlist the aid of someone knowledgeable in divorce law. Doing so could help ensure a spouse receives their fair share of the divorce settlement, especially when infidelity is fingered as the culprit in the marital split.

Source: Huffington Post, "Divorce And Affairs: Does Cheating Cost You In A Divorce?" Geoff Williams, Dec. 18, 2012

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