When a couple divorces, one of the assets often divided and awarded by the court is a portion of the parties’ retirement plans. A Qualified Domestic Relations Order, commonly called a QDRO, is an order signed by the court that deals with pension funds. The QDRO establishes your soon to be ex’s legal entitlement to receive a designated amount of a qualified plan account or benefits. The party who is awarded a portion of retirement benefits will subsequently be responsible for paying related income taxes and fees associated with withdrawing the benefits.
What Role Does Adultery Play In A Houston Divorce (Texas)?
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 Firm 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.