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Texas Divorce and Prenuptial Agreement

4550 Post Oak Place, Suite 201 • Houston, Texas 77027-3139

Phone: 713-877-8800 • Fax: 713-877-1229

How Adultery Can Impact Child Custody

On Wednesday, we discussed how adultery and a fault divorce can impact the way that a judge in Texas splits your marital estate between you and your spouse. If you are able to prove adultery by your spouse, this could result in a more favorable property settlement for you, but the ultimate split of your property depends on the judge handling your case. The other important area in divorce law that adultery can impact is child custody.

The impact of adultery on child custody rulings

Again, the precise impact depends on the preferences of your judge and the facts of the adultery, but judges will generally prefer to award custody to the spouse who did not commit adultery. The important factor is often the degree to which the spouse committing adultery exposed the children to the affair. If you can show that your spouse had other partners around your children, your case for custody will be stronger than your spouse’s. Likewise, you improve your chances if you can show that your spouse used family money to fund his or her adultery.

On the other hand, in the absence of some impact of the adultery on your and your spouse’s children, adultery may not have much of an impact at all on child custody. Judges often find that, just because a person was not the best of spouses, he or she may still be a good parent, and the child’s interests are the primary concern when determining child custody. If the adultery occurred as a result of some other behavior that led to the divorce (abuse, for example), the adultery will also not have much of an impact on child custody.

Have you recently been involved in a child custody determination? What factors played an important role for your judge?

John K. Grubb & Associates, P.C. – Houston divorce lawyers

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