How Does an Affair Affect Divorce?

DivorceThere are many misconceptions about how an affair can affect divorce. Some are so common that people pass along false information or poor advice with a relative degree of confidence. Here are examples of myths you have heard about how an affair can affect a divorce:

  • Myth 1: If you committed adultery, you cannot receive alimony
  • Myth 2: If you were unfaithful, then you lose custody of your children
  • Myth 3: It isn’t adultery if you were separated 

Myth 1 & 2

Adultery will not affect someone’s eligibility for alimony and will not prevent them from having custody of the children. Alimony is meant to allow individuals to dissolve their marriage yet still leave it as financial equals. There are specific circumstances that enable someone to receive alimony in the state of Texas.

For example, the marriage had to have lasted at least ten years, and the spouse requesting alimony cannot earn enough to support themself. Another reason is that one person must take care of a disabled child—and that need prevents them from working outside of that responsibility.

When someone fits the legal criteria for requiring alimony, the judge uses many factors to arrive at the amount and duration of spousal support. And one of many factors that play into that is adultery.

Although adultery itself will not jeopardize custody, the behavior connected to it might. Did the cheating spouse do so when the child was with them? Did the new person expose the child to something that caused mental or physical harm? These are examples of how actions connected to adultery could impact custody rather than the act itself. While you may wonder generally how adultery can affect the outcome of a divorce, it is important to consider its impact on specific elements of a divorce proceeding

Myth 3

Although some states allow a couple to legally separate and have relationships while still married, Texas is not one of them. Texas does not recognize legal separation.

In other words, you and your spouse may agree to time apart. This could be viewed as a trial separation while you and your spouse work through some of your issues together and separately. During this time, you may even live in two different places. Regardless of what was discussed, you are still legally married. So, if you believe that having an affair while living separately won’t be an issue, you may find out the hard way how adultery can affect a divorce.

It is important to note that you continue to be married even after the divorce process is underway. Any relationship that occurs during this time could be seen as adultery.

Will an Affair Affect Your Divorce? Find Out How

Since 1995, Amsberry Law Firm has been providing legal services connected with family law. Our focus is to fight to put our clients in the best position post-divorce. We are ready to answer your questions about how an affair can affect a divorce, as well as help you navigate the road ahead. Contact our divorce attorney to schedule a free consultation to connect.

Attorney Russell Amsberry

Attorney Russell J.G. Amsberry

Attorney Russell J.G. Amsberry founded the Amsberry Law Firm in 1995 with the goal of providing clients with exceptional, focused representation on their issues. His success as a legal advocate has been reflected in the numerous professional honors he has received, such as speaking engagements and inclusion in Scene in SA magazine’s listing of the best lawyers in San Antonio, a Distinguished rating from Martindale-Hubble, and an amazing rating from Avvo. [ Attorney Bio ]

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Amsberry Law Firm

The Amsberry Law Firm, founded in 1995, has helped thousands of clients overcome their unique legal challenges.

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