PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Dallas December 2023

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Page 99 of 115

PAPERCITY PROMOTION Cheating Spouse? I nfidelity is one of the most difficult problems to navigate in a marriage — and one that frequently destroys the relationship. A mix of emotions follow the discovery of an unfaithful spouse: shock, sadness, anger, and fear of what the future holds. When cheating leads to divorce, revenge may be at the top of your mind, or even your number-one goal. "Focusing on revenge and letting your emotions control the process is not the best way to get even," says Lee Budner, partner at the family law firm of Calabrese Budner. While processing emotions is an integral part of dealing with infidelity, when it comes to divorce, a calm, rational approach is necessary to achieve your goals and come out ahead. Adultery, As You Prepare for Divorce, Don't Get Mad… if proven, may impact the allocation of property and debts between spouses, the award of alimony, and custody decisions in Texas. Impact on Property Division An affair may impact the court's division of martial property through an uneven or disproportionate division. A spouse who has been cheated on may also have additional claims available to them, such as a claim for waste. A cheating spouse often spends community money on their paramour — fancy hotels, lavish gifts, gourmet meals, and other spending without your knowledge. They are spending your money without your consent. Facts such as these give rise to a claim for waste of marital assets, for which you may be entitled to reimbursement. "To protect your rights, evidence is crucial. It is best to start working with your attorney to collect and preserve evidence as soon as possible," Budner says. You need an attorney adept at pursuing discovery, so that you can obtain the evidence you need and then present it persuasively in the settlement context or at trial. How Cheating Can Affect Alimony in Texas Alimony, known under Texas law as spousal maintenance, is not awarded automatically in divorce cases, even when a spouse has committed adultery. Generally, a spouse seeking spousal maintenance must show a need for support either because they don't have sufficient financial resources to meet 98

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