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Posted by on in Divorce

In Texas, and across the country, adultery remains one of the main causes of divorce. The Texas legislature has narrowly defined adultery and even more narrowly defined the application of adultery in a divorce proceeding.

Texas Courts have defined adultery as “voluntary sexual intercourse of a married person with one not the spouse.” In re Marriage of C.A.S. 405 S.W.3d 373, 383. This means that there must be sexual contact, even just one time. This also means that “emotional affairs” do not rise to the level of adultery as a ground for divorce. Keep in mind that there is no legal separation in Texas, you are married until you are formally divorced, so post separation sexual intercourse with someone other than your spouse is legal adultery.

Still, many courts in Collin, Denton and Dallas Counties view adultery as a symptom or outlet showing from an underlying problem in the marriage. This means, that they are not given the weight in court that a cheated spouse may feel an affair deserves. I mean, your spouse broke his or her promise to you – at the very least you may feel the court should view this as a breach of contract, right?! Well, the court does have some power to right the wrong caused by an affair, but it tends to only come up in select cases.

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Posted by on in Divorce

When deciding to consult a divorce attorney, many still have emotions running high. Your consultation with an attorney will be limited in time (generally 30 minutes- 1 hour). With that in mind, you will need to try to narrow the issues to discuss at this meeting to get the most information about the divorce process, the possible solutions, and the spectrum of strategies available toward a resolution.


  • If you have been served or otherwise delivered papers from your ex, bring all papers with you
  • Timeline of events in your relationship
  • Prior or current orders involving children of this marriage or previous relationships
  • Pre or Post Marital Agreements
  • Income documentation for you (and your spouse, if possible): tax returns, pay stubs, etc.
  • Assets overview (balances for bank accounts, retirement accounts, pensions, investments, etc.)
  • Information regarding land and homes you own (mortgage amounts, values, etc.)
  • Information on valuable items in your home (collectibles, etc.)
  • Notes about problems in your marriage (regarding both spouses)

Remember, your consultation with your attorney is generally confidential in nature. (See the forthcoming article on confidentiality and attorney-client privilege in family law). You need to be open with your attorney about issues that may come up in your divorce. Your attorney can only advise you based on information you provide to him or her, so be honest during your consultation.

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Posted by on in Divorce

In Texas, most people are aware that there is no legal separation that parties can enter into prior to the divorce proceeding. However, a court can issue temporary orders that address interim issues and put into place enforceable and legally binding rules of play between the parties during the divorce proceeding. There is a requirement that the divorce action needs to be filed and pending in order for the Court to enter any form of temporary orders.

Temporary Orders can be entered by the Court after a hearing in front of the Judge or by agreement of the parties. If a hearing is held on temporary orders, the hearing is generally very short in nature and only addresses issues of immediate concern. You will need to work with your local, experienced family law attorney to determine the best course of action in proceeding with temporary orders in your county. The family law attorneys at Hanshaw Kennedy Marquis, PLLC are familiar with the rules of practice and the time limitations imposed by Collin County, Denton County, and Dallas County courts for temporary orders hearings.

At a temporary orders hearing, a Judge can issue rulings regarding the use and possession of all items of property owned by the parties. This means that the Judge can allow one party to remain in the residence and require another party to leave the residence, or even the sale of the residence. The Judge will generally order that each party will have the exclusive use and possession of his or her own motor vehicle. Judges can also enter orders that a party pay temporary support to another party to a case. While there are strict regulations on spousal maintenance in Texas, it is much more common to have temporary support ordered between the parties during the pendency of a case.

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