Recently, the Huffington Post published an article regarding the University of Michigan’s study entitled "Was That Cheating? Perceptions Vary by Sex, Attachment Anxiety, and Behavior,” which documents a survey given to 456 students at two public universities in the Midwest regarding their thoughts on cheating in a long-term relationship. The study proposed twenty-seven actions ranging from going to dinner, holding hands, sitting on a person’s lap, sharing secrets, and kissing. The participants were asked to rank each action on a scale of 0 – 100 as to whether they consider the action to be cheating in a long-term relationship. It is very interesting to see what people do and don’t consider to be cheating.
When it comes to infidelity in a divorce in Texas, if a person can prove their spouse committed adultery, the spouse who was cheated on can receive a disproportionate division of the community assets. Additionally, when it comes to spousal maintenance, the amount and duration of spousal support may be affected if the person requesting spousal maintenance committed adultery during the marriage. The finder of fact as to adultery will be a Judge who you must remember is human and sees adultery every day in our Court system.
Recently, I was in a hearing in which I represented a Husband whose Wife had numerous sexual encounters with five different people during the course of their marriage. At the hearing, his Wife alleged that he had committed adultery by texting and emailing with a co-worker. My client did not have any type of sexual contact with this co-worker. The Judge addressed the actions of both spouses and stated that the Husband’s actions with his co-worker were just as bad, if not worse, than his Wife’s actions because what he did involved feelings and emotions. While you may not agree with this way of thinking, it is important to remember that a Judge is a human being and during a hearing, you will be subjecting yourself to that Judge’s way of thinking. What you may not consider to be cheating, a Judge may find those actions to be adultery and you could end up paying the cost financially.