While Texas has no-fault divorce, it also allows you to file a fault-based divorce for seven reasons. According to the American Psychological Association, the trigger for the end of a marriage is adultery in 20-40% of cases.
It makes sense then that cheating is one of the grounds on which you may file for a divorce. When infidelity is the reason behind a divorce, it can have an impact on the judge’s rulings.
The court does not award alimony solely based on evidence that your soon-to-be-ex-spouse committed adultery. For you to receive alimony, you generally must meet one or more conditions, such as having a disability that prevents you from supporting yourself, being a victim of domestic abuse within the confines of the marriage, being the caretaker of a disabled child or being unable to cover your basic expenses (the duration of the union is also a determining factor in this last case). However, infidelity is one of the considerations that affect the amount of alimony awarded.
Infidelity may also play a role in how judges divide property. Texas abides by an “equitable distribution” policy, meaning they split shared assets based on fairness instead of equality. The state also allows judges to consider the “fault” behind a no-fault divorce when determining what is fair. As a result, they may choose to award smaller portions to the cheating party. However, this is not an arbitrary decision; usually, a judge does this if the individual spent large quantities of marital funds on an affair or other factors exist.
While unfaithfulness itself does not automatically grant the wronged individual an advantage in alimony and property division proceedings, it may impact them.