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.
Alimony in Texas Adultery
In a Texas divorce, evidence of adultery can affect both property division and spousal support. Courts may deny alimony to the spouse that committed adultery. They will also take adultery into consideration when the cheating spouse is asked to pay alimony, if the affair is what caused the divorce.
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.