With the Affair Came a Child

Affairs that involve a child can make divorces more emotional and contentious. Does the child have an effect on the final terms?

Extramarital affairs are becoming quite common, and they can wreak havoc on a family. When the extramarital affair produces a child, it can create even more anger and frustration, and some confusion. The spouse that was cheated on may feel as though he or she deserves more in a divorce because of the wrongs suffered. The spouse who had the affair may feel as though it has nothing to do with what is rightfully his or hers. So, what does the law in Texas say about divorces that involve affairs, and the children that result from those affairs?

How Affairs with Children Affect the Families

An affair that produces a child affects everyone involved. The family of the spouse who cheated is likely to feel betrayed. This involves of course, the spouse, but also any children. Children often blame the parent who had the affair for breaking up the family and may not want to spend time with that parent after the divorce.

The family that is made up of the new child and the person with whom the spouse had an affair is also greatly affected by the divorce. They too can experience feelings of resentment and hostility, and they typically feel a lot of guilt. This can result in them withdrawing from the spouse’s other children. This is harmful not only to divorce proceedings, but also any future relationship the children involved may have with each other.

Legal Responsibilities of the Spouse

Under Texas law, parents have a legal responsibility to provide financially for their children until they are no longer minors. Due to this, spouses who have an affair that produces another child are responsible for that new child, as well as the children they had previously.

Texas law does not outline any repercussions for spouses who have an affair. Technically speaking, this means adultery will not have an effect on the outcome of divorce proceedings. However, it could. Depending on the circumstances, a judge may award the non-cheating spouse more in property division due to the affair or grant him or her more favorable terms elsewhere.

How an Affair can Affect Child Support and Child Custody Proceedings

Two aspects of any divorce that are most affected by an affair that produced a child are child support and child custody proceedings.

During child custody proceedings, a judge will determine what is in the best interests of the child. If the child states that he or she does not want to spend time with the parent that cheated, the courts will take that into consideration. This is especially true if the child is older. If the spouse who had the affair is still with the person with whom he or she had the affair, and that person is hostile to the child or the spouse, a judge will also take that into consideration.

Generally speaking, a spouse who had an affair is still responsible for providing financially for all of his or her children. However, when there is a child from the affair, a judge may consider that, as well. If the spouse with the new baby cannot afford to support his older children because he or she now has another child to support, a judge may lower child support payments slightly. Spouses will likely still have to pay some form of child support.

Contact a Pearland Divorce Attorney for Help

If you are going through a divorce, regardless of the circumstances, you should not do it on your own. A Pearland divorce lawyer will fight to ensure your rights are upheld, and try to get all disputes resolved as quickly as possible. At John Powell III, P.C., we know you want to move on with your life, and we want to help you do it. Call us today at (832) 850-6095 or contact us online so we can start reviewing your case.