Here, our Katy divorce lawyer discusses how adultery can affect alimony in Texas.
If your marriage was affected because you or your spouse had an affair,
you may wonder how adultery affects the spouses’ rights and obligations in the
divorce process. Each state handles marital misconduct differently. In some no-fault
states, adultery is for the most part a non-issue; it does not usually
affect alimony awards or property division in those states. Texas on the
other hand, is more traditional and the courts can penalize a spouse for
committing adultery. In a Texas divorce, evidence of adultery can affect
both property division and
No-Fault & Fault Divorces in Texas
While some states are strictly no-fault divorce states, Texas allows individuals
to file fault-based divorces and no-fault divorces. Thus, an innocent
spouse can file a fault-based divorce on the ground of “adultery.”
Under Texas law, adultery is voluntary sexual intercourse with someone
other than one’s spouse. If a spouse files divorce on the ground
of adultery, he or she must be able to prove the relationship to the court.
Often, circumstantial evidence will suffice.
Examples of circumstantial evidence:
- Text messages
- Credit card statements
- Phone records
- Bank statements
- Photos and videos
Although proving adultery does not make a spouse eligible for alimony,
many Texas courts will consider adultery when deciding how much a lower-earning
spouse should receive in alimony or spousal support. However, if both
spouses committed adultery, the court would consider that as well. The
courts may also consider adultery if the affair occurred after the spouses
physically separated, but before the divorce was finalized.
Many states do not consider adultery when dividing a couple’s property,
but that is not the case with Texas. Texas courts may consider adultery
when dividing the marital assets. Courts also consider funds spent on
the extramarital relationship, such as money spent on hotel rooms, trips,
jewelry, and other gifts.
If you have questions about how adultery might affect the outcome of your divorce, contact Hunt Law Firm, PLLC
to meet with an experienced Katy divorce attorney.