Although pets feel like family, they are considered property for the purposes of a divorce. That means like all property, if the pet was purchased (or adopted) during the course of the marriage, the pet is considered community property. If the pet was acquired prior to the marriage, then the pet is the separate property of the person who brought it into the marriage, regardless of who cared more for the pet, or paid for the pet during the marriage. Gifts and inheritance are also separate property, so if the pet was given to one party, or acquired through inheritance, then the pet will belong to the party to whom the pet was given.
Texas is a “no fault state” which means that a person can plead for divorce without alleging that either spouse is somehow responsible for demise of the marriage. One may allege adultery as a ground for filing divorce; however adultery is not a crime in the state of Texas. If you’re hoping your cheating spouse will face criminal repercussions for their actions, it’s not going to happen in Texas. So why would a person plead adultery as a ground for a Houston divorce? There are two main reasons: (1) in order to receive a disproportionate share of the community estate or (2) for reasons related to child custody and conservatorship issues.
The Texas Family Code mandates that a court must divide a marital estate in a “just and right” manner. Fault in the breakup of the marriage and the financial benefits a spouse would have received from the continuation of the marriage are factors a court may consider in dividing an estate in a just and right manner. The existence of adultery alone will not result in a disproportionate award of the marital estate to the innocent spouse. The innocent spouse must prove to the Court that the adultery was the cause of the breakup and either that because of the breakup the innocent spouse was deprived of future financial benefits or that the adulterous affair resulted in a waste of community assets through gifts made to the cheating spouse’s significant other.
If custody of the children is at issue during a divorce, a Court may consider allegations of adultery when making a decision regarding the children. Courts do not take kindly to parents who bring extramarital affair partners into the lives of the children or who engage in adultery in front of the children. Children are vulnerable during a divorce and the commission of adultery in front of the children speaks volumes as to a parent’s character. When a Court is scrutinizing a person’s capability to be a good parent; proof of adultery can be detrimental to a parent in regards to child custody and conservatorship.
The Houston divorce lawyers at the Ramos Law Group, PLLC are knowledgeable in all areas of family law including divorce. Please contact us with any concerns or questions you might have.
Disclaimer: The material obtained from this site is not intended to be legal advice. Please consult an attorney for advice regarding your own legal situation.