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How an Affair is Judged in Court

Couple with divorce judge

Adultery, or a spouse having an affair, is one of the common causes of divorce, but what do the courts really think when one of the spouses is having an affair?

Most jilted spouses would like to think that the courts will bring the hammer down on the spouse that had the affair. However, in most cases, it won’t make much of a difference. Just on its own, having an affair does not necessarily mean that one spouse is going to get more or less than the other spouse.

When does an affair matter in court?

It will make a difference if the spouse having the affair has spent significant funds on the paramour. If the cheating spouse spent significant community funds on the girlfriend or boyfriend, then the judge will typically order the spouse that cheated to pay back the other spouse.

Another instance that adultery would make a significant difference in a case would be if somehow the adulterous behavior was affecting the parenting skills of the person having the affair. If, for example, Mom is in and out of the house all the time, with different men, or participating in activities in front of the children that were inappropriate, then the court would almost certainly take the adultery into account.

Sometimes, there is a desire of the spouse to get some revenge or payback in court after the affair.

However, expectations need to be managed in the beginning.

At the first meeting with an attorney, the spouse needs to understand that the affair may or may not have an impact on the outcome of the divorce. Many people want an apology, but that is something they are likely never going to get. Some people want everything exposed and they want to embarrass the other party. However, it is no slam dunk that simply because the other person had an affair, you are suddenly going to get a huge disproportionate share of the community property.

Adultery may or may not impact the division of the assets. It may or may not affect the division of the assets. It may or may not affect custody and visitation. Each case is different. If community funds were spent on a boyfriend or girlfriend then the innocent spouse would almost certainly receive some sort of compensation for that.

The bottom line is, just because your spouse has had an affair, that does not automatically change the outcome of the divorce. It does not automatically guarantee a huge revenge payback for the other spouse. Each case has a unique set of facts, so you need to consult an attorney about the specifics of your case.

Let an experienced, Southlake Divorce Lawyer help you through your divorce or family law matter.

The Justice Law Firm in Southlake, Texas is dedicated to helping individuals in Southlake and the surrounding areas with Divorce and Family Law issues. At the Justice Law Firm, you will find experienced and professional divorce attorneys.