When Frank Sinatra sang about love and marriage going together like a horse and carriage, he never mentioned sex. Perhaps the famous crooner knew that all too many times sex and marriage don’t match — that instead adultery, porn addictions, or lack of sex can pepper unions and lead to divorce.
But what do these sex-related topics mean when you are in the middle of a divorce? How are they defined, and do they affect property division or custody? Here are some common questions when it comes to sex and divorce:
What if I committed adultery? While your spouse can file for divorce on the grounds of adultery, Texas does not require a reason for divorce, and no-fault divorces are common. Proving adultery can be difficult. Texas statutes include neither a firm definition of adultery nor a description of what constitutes proof of infidelity. Rather than as the primary reason for divorce, adultery is often used as a factor in convincing the court to award more alimony or a larger portion of the marital assets.
One spouse’s adultery is not a legal reason for awarding alimony, but according to Texas family law, it should be part of a judge’s consideration in determining the amount and duration of spousal payments. So, if your spouse is seeking alimony, a marital affair could play a role in how much alimony your ex is awarded.
When it comes to dividing property, Texas is a community property state. This means the courts view property acquired or earned during the marriage as generally being owned 50-50. Judges are not required to consider fault, including adultery, when dividing property, but they may contemplate it and can apply an unequal division.
Does committing adultery affect custody? The court will look at what is best for the child in awarding custody. In general, an affair that split a marriage probably won’t affect custody considerations. But if you introduced a partner who put your children at risk, committed infidelity in front of a child, or have been prioritizing sexual relationships over your children, your actions might sway a judge’s decision.
How can I keep my children away from my porn-addicted husband? A porn addiction is not grounds for divorce in Texas. It could have an impact on custody if you can prove your husband’s addiction makes him an unfit parent who is unable to properly care for your child, or that the addiction could lead to your child’s harm or neglect. A court may order a psychological evaluation in helping to both determine custody and consider the effect the porn addiction has had and could have on your child.
We haven’t had sex in years – is that abandonment? While a nonexistent sex life might feel like abandonment, it isn’t considered as such by Texas law. Abandonment is defined as a spouse leaving with the intent to abandon and then staying away for at least one year. A sexless marriage might lead you to decide to divorce your spouse, but it isn’t likely to play a role in the divorce proceedings.
OUR DIVORCE ATTORNEYS CAN HELP WITH QUESTIONS ABOUT ADULTERY AND SEX
Divorce is challenging, but with Alexandra Geczi LLC, you are not alone. Our attorneys are here to help you discreetly navigate the process and protect your interests so that you can move forward into a bright, bold future. Contact us today at 214-974-4449.