Marital misconduct comes in a number of forms. Most often, it is equated with adultery, but that is not always the case. If you are accused of marital misconduct, you should speak to a family law attorney immediately, as it can have a destructive impact on the outcome of your divorce.
Marital Misconduct as Defined in Texas
Texas defines marital misconduct as behavior violating the expectations and obligations that marital relationships should be able to count upon. These violations of trust and harmful behavior are listed below:
- Adultery is the most commonly considered violation of the marriage. It simply means that one partner has had sexual intercourse with a person other than their spouse.
- Physical and mental cruelty, such as abuse, threats, and other conduct, which make for an intolerable living situation because of the abusive partner, are examples of marital misconduct.
- Felony convictions are considered marital misconduct, especially if one of the partners goes to jail for at least a year because of committing a crime.
- Abandoning one’s husband or wife without cause or consent with the intention of never returning is considered marital misconduct by Texas courts.
- Drug abuse can cause many problems within a marriage. If one partner is abusing substances, the court may view it as marital misconduct.
- Failure to support is another form of marital misconduct. This means that expected financial contributions by one partner are not forthcoming.
- Impotence falls under the marital misconduct umbrella. Though, if it is not known before marriage, the partner who is not impotent may have the marriage annulled.
- Bigamy, or being illegally married to more than one spouse, is marital misconduct. Bigamy is also a form of fraud and is illegal.
Whether the divorce is a no-fault or fault-based can hinge on whether marital misconduct occurred.
Marital Misconduct’s Impact on Financial Matters
Spousal support, also known as alimony, is not guaranteed in Texas. But, marital misconduct may have some bearing on whether it is awarded and how that sum is determined.
When assets are divided, marital misconduct can also have an impact. If evidence has been presented of one partner’s egregious behavior, the court may consider it when determining how to divide the couple’s assets. Depending on the marital misconduct, the partner who committed the offenses to the marriage may be awarded less than the partner who held up their end of the marital agreement.
Child Support and Custody
If safety due to the marital misconduct is not a factor, child custody, and child support are not awarded or adjusted due to not living up to the expectations of a marriage. The court believes that being a bad marital partner does not mean that person is a bad parent.
If Marital Misconduct is a Factor in Your Divorce, Contact Us Today
If you are the victim of marital misconduct or if you are being accused of marital misconduct, contact Evans Family Law Group today. Our team is ready to review your case and advise you on how best to handle the allegations. Our aggressive yet compassionate attorneys understand the difficulties you may be facing and are on your side from day one. Contact us today so that we can arrange a consultation and determine how we can best advocate for you.