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Is adultery a ground for a Houston divorce?

adultery in the property division

One of the major causes of marriages to fail is the ‘forbidden fruit’. If you are the type who always sees the proverbial greener grass over your neighbor’s fence, then you are courting a Houston divorce. In Texas, family values are taken very seriously. Most people that divorce always quote ‘irreconcilable differences’ as the cause for divorce. This is usually a polite way of saying ‘unforgivable adultery’. Many Houston divorce judges will tell you that over 60% of divorces lodged in their courts are as a result of one or both partner’s sampling the ‘greener grass’. A Houston divorce judge can and will find adultery as sufficient ground for a divorce.

What is the impact of adultery in the property division?

Law was created to be equitable and fair. A judge will therefore feature the cause for divorce when deciding how the property is divided. A philandering husband or wife cannot expect to get an equal share of the communal property if by his actions, he caused the divorce. The law does what is equitable and fair. A wife whose husband has committed adultery cannot claim that since the husband caused the marriage to break, he is not entitled to any part of the communal estate. What the law will do in this circumstance is divide the property in disproportionately, with the larger portion going to the offended partner.

What is the effect of adultery on child custody and access?

Again, the law always tries to do justice, and wants to seem to have done justice. This is why generally; the philandering partner will not be denied a right to access his/her children. A court will not also base the custody of the children solely on the fact that one of the parents was cheating. Rather, what the court will do is investigate why the other spouse was cheating and whether while doing so, he was respectful to the children enough not to expose them to unsuitable behavior. In short, the court gives custody to the parent who shows the best values that are needed to bring up emotionally and physically healthy children.

What are the other effects of adultery?

Adultery will almost always trigger contested marriages. The partner who was cheated on always seeks to inflict as much damage to the cheating spouse as they can. Contested divorces are bad because they expose the children to constant chiding from their friends in school. The hostility created by adultery is usually bad on the kids who are split on whom to love and loathe between the two parents. Although the Houston divorce court will issue some temporary orders to guide the conduct of the divorcing spouses during the divorce proceedings, it is never easy when the trigger of divorce is adultery. There is a lot of vitriol directed to the cheating spouse and this extends to children who seem to side with their other parent. There is no end to how much a spouse who has been cheated on can do. This has given rise to the term ‘irreconcilable differences’ to shelter the kids from hating a parent for breaking up the family.


Michael Busby Jr. is a Divorce, Family Law, & Houston Divorce Lawyer,  who practices in Harris County Texas and the counties that surround Harris County, Texas. He has been in practice for over 14 years and has tried over 300 cases.  He is familiar with the policy and procedures of the Harris County Texas Divorce Courts.   Our office is open until 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for working folks.

Michael Busby Jr.

6100 Corporate Dr Ste 190
Houston, Texas 77036
(713) 974-1151


Visit me on the web at www.busby-lee.com


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Michael Busby is a Houston divorce lawyer who has been in practice for over 20 years and appears daily in the Family Law Courts of Harris County and Fort Bend County Texas

Busby & Associates , have two Houston Offices, one in Chinatown, Houston Texas and another in Independent Heights, Houston, Texas. Michael Busby is Board Certified in Family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.