It can be one of the worst violations of your trust to have a spouse cheat on you. It doesn't take a marriage therapist or divorce attorney to tell you that wanna spouse cheats; there are long-term and short-term ramifications for that cheating, which can tremendously impact a family. Probably the most significant example of this would be that your family pasta considers the possibility of a divorce. This is something that nobody wants to feel or think about unless necessary. After having worked with many families on behalf of the Law Office of Bryan Fagan who have been faced with the prospect of divorce, I can tell you that no one wants to go through a divorce. However, some situations get to a point where a divorce becomes inevitable based on the bad conduct of one of the partners.
If you find yourself in a situation where your spouse is cheated on you, then it may feel like your entire world has come crashing down. The person with whom you placed the utmost trust has violated that trust a great deal. Now that your faith has been compromised, you may feel like you can never return to the way things were before. As the old saying goes, you can't unring a bell. Once you see that your trust has been violated, you may have reasonable cause to believe that there is a high likelihood that continued violations of your faith will again occur. In that case, you should consider your options before jumping into anything as serious as a divorce. No one is forcing you to do anything against your will, and you should consider all options before making any definitive decisions.
For example, one of the complex parts of divorce is that once the process gets going, that usually means you will end up getting a divorce. Some of you may be scratching your heads and thinking to yourselves; this is obvious. However, I've worked with enough people in your position who have thought that once the divorce gets going, there is a decent opportunity that their case may end up on hold due to their being able to work out the problems in their marriage during therapy or counseling. However, something about a divorce pushes most people towards rather than stopping midway in hopes of a reconciliation period. I wish this were not the case, but so often, it is. What's that original divorce petition is filed? It can be tough to go back and try to unring that bell that has already been rung.
Before you file for divorce, then, it makes a lot of sense for you to be able to consider whether or not you have exhausted every resource possible and gone to whatever lengths you deem necessary to determine if your marriage can be salvaged. This doesn't mean that you have to compromise on your morals, safety, or other values. It does mean that if you have a clue that your marriage could be saved through communication in therapy with your spouse, you should do so. Sometimes you may even be able to work with your spouse directly without a third party to alleviate any lingering issues of mistrust. This is especially important after allegations or actual incidents of cheating have occurred.
All of this is more easily said than done, especially if you are in the military. Frankly, you may not be in a position where you can work with your spouse on these topics because they may be living separately from you due to their military obligations. Therefore, being able to walk into the home and have a conversation with your spouse on the couch at night cannot happen. Instead, the opportunities for you to try to talk through the issues in your marriage may have passed you by some time ago. What you are left with is wondering what you can do now that your spouse is cheated on you. Do you go ahead and file for divorce? What options do you have when it comes to filing? Do adultery and cheating play a role in a Texas divorce? These are common questions for both military and civilian families alike. Let's jump in to discuss what it means to file for divorce in Texas.
Filing for divorce in Texas
A divorce case in Texas starts off the same way for everyone who wants to begin a claim. Namely, you will file an original petition for divorce with your divorce court. This means that the document would need to be drafted and filed along with a filing fee. The specific filing fee that you must pay will vary based on the county you are filing in. If you have recently moved to Texas after living elsewhere in the military, you need to know that Texas has laws in place regarding jurisdiction over your case. Jurisdiction means the legal ability for a court to hear the arguments presented in your case and make decisions for you and your children. Jurisdiction in Texas kicks in when you have lived in the state of Texas for at least six months before filing for divorce and in the county where you have filed for at least three months before filing. Once both of these conditions are met, a Texas court will have jurisdiction over your case.
The next issue that we need to talk about is what it means to file for divorce. The actual legal importance of filing for divorce is minimal. When you file for divorce, all you are doing is notifying the court that you intend to divorce your spouse. Secondly, filing for divorce begins the process of having the court count down 60 days to the earliest possible date that you can get divorced. Before then, you would not be able to get a divorce in Texas absents relatively unusual circumstances involving abuse in the family. Otherwise, the earliest you can get a divorce in Texas is 60 days after the date on which you filed your divorce. Bear in mind. However, other than these two realities, nothing else happens when you file for divorce.
You must first serve notice the divorce upon your spouse. This is the step that genuinely begins a divorce in Texas. Spouses serving somewhere else away from home on behalf of the military must work with their attorney to figure out how you will help them. It could be that you need to look up the procedures for your spouse's branch of the military or their respective base. Undoubtedly military members have been served before on base or in a particular area where your spouse is. Your job is to learn those rules and help your attorney learn those procedures. The easier this is done, the faster you can get your divorce underway. Remember that you need to serve your spouse with paperwork to begin your divorce truly. Think about it from your spouse's perspective. If you file for divorce but do not tell them, they cannot hire an attorney, respond with an answer to your divorce, and begin the proceeding, generally speaking.
You also need to be aware of the limitations of beginning a divorce when your spouse is on active duty and deployed abroad. This servicemember civil relief act comes into play and protects active-duty military deployed insert and combat or other missions. It bars you from obtaining a divorce from your spouse under any circumstances when they are deployed. We don't necessarily have the space to discuss this subject in great detail here on this blog, so you should work with your experienced family law attorney to ensure that you are not beginning a divorce that cannot be completed at this time. You may be better off planning the divorce and working with your spouse as best as possible to work out any issues despite the distance between you. Or, if you believe that your marriage is over and reconciliation isn't possible due to distance, then you can prepare for the divorce as much as possible until they return home.
These are the basics of getting a divorce started in Texas. There is no doubt that your family probably has questions about divorce that we have not answered here today. In that case, you should contact the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan for a free of charge consultation six days a week. These consultations are great because you can learn specific information that applies to your particular circumstances. In a format like the one, we are discussing today, the best we can provide you with general information that will hopefully apply to you and your family. Our attorneys can provide you with detailed responses to those questions in consultation with specific questions or what you have.
What role does cheating play on child custody questions?
Cheating in the marriage is a violation of trust, but it can display immaturity or inability to perform essential roles like parenting the kids. If you and your spouse have children, then your spouse is cheating may become a central issue in any custody negotiations or trial that occurs for your family. For instance, consider the possibility that your spouse is brought their partner into the home and your children are aware of them. This can be not only a strange encounter for your children but can leave them with a lot of questions. These questions probably cannot be set aside easily by a family court judge.
For instance, suppose that your spouse forced your children to engage with their boyfriend or girlfriend as a means of introducing them. It can be an incredibly stressful, awkward, and downright unpleasant experience for your kids to have to come face to face with this person. Even if your spouse anticipates having a long-term relationship with this person after a divorce, it is no excuse to expose your children to this person at this time. When this occurs, a family court judge would likely look upon it with a lot of negativity.
The reason for this is that a family court judge must make decisions in your children's best interest. The best interest standard when it comes to child custody issues is common throughout the United States. In Texas, a judge must consider several factors when determining what is in the best interests of your children. Their development both in the short and long term is just one of those factors. With that said, having your children exposed to this person at any age can be very difficult for them. Indeed, it would be challenging for your spouse to make an argument that it is in their best interest to meet this person. Not only can it be damaging to them on the psychological and emotional level, but it displays terrible judgment on the part of your spouse. With that said, what are the tangible ways that this bad judgment could impact a child custody determination in your case?
When most people think Gov child custody issues, they typically think of possession of the kids. You may be assuming that maybe it could cost your spouse time with the children on a possession schedule. This may be true, but I think the most significant way that custody issues could be impacted by something like this will be regarding conservatorship rights and duties. Probably the most critical aspect of parenting has a say in your child's life. Taking part in decision-making for your child is highly crucial to their development and your relationship. Things like education, health, and other areas of their life were all impacted by your ability to make decisions with your Co-parent. However, your spouse's introduction of a paramour into your child's life displays a real lack of foresight and an inability to determine what is in the children's best interests. Their introduction of this person to your children may have been more for them than for your kid's benefit. A parent should never confuse what is in their best interest with what is necessary for their child's best interest. With that said, we can guess how this may impact conservatorship rights and duties.
I think that your spouse may be limited in terms of their ability to make independent decisions without first consulting with you. The exception to this may be when your child has an emergency medical procedure where a decision must be made while they have your spouse. In that case, it will be almost assured that your spouse will be able to have decision-making exclusively for him or herself. However, most other decisions I would think need to be run by you first period are due to their lack of understanding of the importance of introducing their girlfriend or boyfriend to your children.
Additionally, you need to be aware that in most divorce decrees, there are limitations on their ability to bring A typical divorce decree will bar unrelated adults from the home while the children are there from six in the evening until 6:00 in the morning. This would mean that any sleepovers with the girlfriend or boyfriend while the children are in the home, will violate the court order. This is just something familiar and relatively expected that should be included in your final decree of divorce.
Finally, do not underestimate your spouse's military responsibilities and how they may ultimately play into the possession of your children as well. Or bad behavior through committing adultery within the marriage could be coupled with their responsibilities in the military to mean that any visitation that occurs may need to be brief, especially if your spouse has been outside of the country for some time. The ages of your children, their specific needs, in the degree to which they were exposed to your spouse's girlfriend or boyfriend will all play into this determination. Do not assume that special consideration cannot be given based on your circumstances. Please speak with your attorney about this as you begin to negotiate custody and possession within the divorce.
Questions about the material contained in today's blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
If you have any questions about the material contained in today's blog post, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free of charge consultations six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. These consultations are an excellent way for you to learn more about the world of Texas family law as well as about how your family's circumstances may be impacted by the filing of a divorce or child custody case.