What effect does adultery have on your Texas divorce (2023)

The reason that brought you to the website for the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC is likely the same reason why other members of your community are here as well. Infidelity (known in the law as adultery) is unfortunately common in marriages as most any family law attorney could attest to. The reasons why people are not faithful in marriage are many. When the end result is a breakdown of the trust and a violation of the vows taken in entering into a marriage a divorce may not be too far behind.

It is emotionally difficult to get to the point where you believe that you are ready to file for divorce. When adultery is the reason why you are moving towards a divorce that decision can be made to be even more difficult. The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC would like to provide you some straightforward and honest answers as to how your divorce could be impacted by adultery and infidelity.

A break in the trust of your marriage means a longer divorce in many cases

Most divorces in Texas do not specify adultery as a the cause or “fault grounds” of the divorce. Most divorces end up being a run of the mill divorce based on irreconcilable differences. This just means that you and your spouse could not get along and despite efforts to reunify, a divorce is necessary as there is no hope of reconciliation.

However, there are those divorces that cite specific grounds for the divorce. You can think of grounds as another word for “reason.” The divorce is based on adultery, centered around the fact that you are alleging that your spouse violated your marriage vows and had an inappropriate, sexual relationship with another person.

This, unsurprisingly, adds another layer of anger and mistrust to the divorce. Even the most amicable spouses going through divorce still don’t want to be married to one another anymore. In these situations spouses may be able to exchange pleasantries but they still don’t want to spend a great deal of time face to face.

(Video) Can adultery affect your divorce in Texas?

If your spouse has cheated on you then your emotions will be amplified in this regard. Not only will you want divorce, in most cases, but you will want your spouse to feel consequences for doing what he or she did. The main ways that those consequences come to bear on your divorce are the following:

Property division will be affected

Community property is the manner in which the State of Texas classifies property owned by spouses at the time of a divorce. It is presumed that any property owned by you and your spouse at the time of your divorce is community property. For you or your spouse to prove that property is a part of one of your separate estates then you must present evidence showing this. I don’t intend to tell you that every little piece of property in your life is going to be fought over in your divorce. However, if there is a dispute over property evidence will need to be presented to prove where it belongs- in the community estate or part of one of your separate estates.

With that introduction to the subject of community property in place, let’s transition into how adultery can play a role in how property is divided in your divorce. Property is divided by a court in a just and right manner. This is not the same as 50/50, however. If you ask a person on the street how property is divided up in a divorce you would be much more likely to receive an answer of, “50/50” as opposed to “just and right”, however.

What this means is that if your divorce case goes all the way to a judge for a final decision the judge must take into consideration all of the circumstances of your case when deciding how to divide up the community estate. If your circumstances involve your spouse being unfaithful to you this could have a profound and significant impact on this decision. Suppose, for example, that in having an affair over the course of a year or more your spouse used community property to purchase gifts, trips or other items for their paramour. These are funds that you have a right to and your spouse wasted them on this other person.

(Video) What Will The Judge Do If You Commit Adultery (From Texas Lawyer)

The remedy in this situation would be to award you a disproportionate share of the community estate in order to make up for the loss of income that was seen in your spouse spending community money on their paramour. This evens the playing field by providing you with more property out of the divorce. If you are in a situation where you know your spouse has cheated on you, do not disregard this as a means to avoid conflict. This conflict may end up being unavoidable, and you are more likely to win a disproportionate share of the community estate if your allegations are proven in court.

Time and money are investments you should be prepared to make if adultery is present

Suppose, now, that you are the spouse who committed adultery during the course of your marriage. Your spouse may have filed for divorce at the first opportunity she got, but she probably is not willing to talk settlement quite yet. She needs some time to decompress, and allow herself an opportunity to assess the situation and think about how she is going to negotiate.

Meanwhile, you are paying your attorney fees while nothing is going on in your case. Weeks and months can pass by before she even begins to consider what her options are. Your judge will put your case on the docket and mandate that your case be tried by a certain date but don’t bet on a short and sweet divorce if you have been unfaithful to your spouse.

Child custody and adultery do not mix

Your children are impressionable, especially when it comes to actions that you take as a parent. If you have made your children aware of your affair, even inadvertently, it can cause you suffer in the area of child custody.

(Video) Leigh Daniel Law How Does Adultery (Ashley Madison) Affect Your Divorce Case

Every decision made in relation to your children in your divorce by a judge is under the guise of: what is in the best interests of these children? If you want to keep your children with you half the time you cannot show a judge that you are anything less than an extremely fit and diligent parent. Carrying on an extramarital affair is probably the last thing you would want to do in order to show the judge that you are a good parent.

It does not matter if yours was a “loveless” marriage. Your children see your marriage as an example of something to emulate as far as their own lives. A disrespect of your spouse, coupled with taking time away from your children in favor of a paramour, means that you are not putting your best foot forward when it comes to fighting for your children.

At the end of the day if your divorce goes all the way to a trial every little advantage matters. An affair is nothing if not a huge advantage for your spouse to take advantage of in trial. You are well advised to attempt to settle your case prior to a trial if you have been unfaithful- especially if you have exposed your children to that infidelity in any way.

Questions about infidelity, adultery and divorce? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan

The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC want you to know that we place the interests and goals of our clients at the forefront when we agree to represent a client. This means that we will use our experience to guide you through the divorce process but ultimately you are the one who will make a decision as to how your case will proceed from a decision making perspective.

(Video) Divorce Based on Adultery

To learn more about our office please do not hesitate to contact us today. We offer free of charge consultations with our licensed family law attorneys six days a week.

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  3. Is Adultery a Crime in Texas?
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  5. Sex, Lies, Rock-and-roll, and Adultery in a Texas Divorce
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Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Houston, Texas Divorce Lawyers

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regardingdivorce, it's important to speak with one of ourHouston, TXDivorce Lawyersright away to protect your rights.

(Video) Does Adultery Affect My Divorce Case?

Ourdivorce lawyers in Houston TXare skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals.Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLCby calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC handlesDivorce cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein,Humble,Kingwood,Tomball,The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, includingHarris County,Montgomery County,Liberty County,Chambers County,Galveston County,Brazoria County,Fort Bend CountyandWaller County.

FAQs

How does adultery affect divorce settlement? ›

(Cal. Fam. Code § 2550 (2022).) So unless your straying spouse—out of guilt—signs a divorce settlement agreement giving you more than half of the community property, adultery shouldn't be a factor in the property division in your California divorce.

Does cheating affect alimony in Texas? ›

(Tex. Fam. Code § 6.008 (2022).) Your spouse's adultery might have an effect on the amount and duration of maintenance that the judge awards—but only if the circumstances in your case meet the strict requirements for any alimony, and only as one factor among many.

What can be used against you in a divorce in Texas? ›

Marital fault grounds for divorce in Texas include: adultery, cruelty, felony conviction and abandonment. Adultery means one spouse has committed adultery. Cruelty means that one spouse treated the other in such a way that the marriage and living together was insupportable.

What proof is needed for adultery in Texas? ›

If you can sufficiently prove that an extra-marital affair has taken place, then Texas courts will often presume that sex acts went along with it. Circumstantial evidence might include things like bank statements, phone records, and texts or emails between your spouse and the person with whom they were cheating.

Who pays for divorce in adultery? ›

There is a common myth that the adulterer is the person who pays for divorce in the event of adultery. Although this myth might seem reasonable, the individual who applied for divorce is the one who is responsible for paying the divorce fees, and each individual will have to pay for their own solicitors' fees.

Is adultery taken into account in divorce? ›

In the past, adultery could be used as a reason for divorce. However, under the new no-fault divorce rules, there is no longer any need to provide a reason for your divorce. While this doesn't change how hurtful adultery can be, it does make the process of getting a divorce much simpler.

Does Texas punish adultery? ›

No, adultery is not illegal in Texas. But Texas courts consider marital misconduct, including infidelity, in dividing the parties' community estate. Typically, fault grounds for divorce, such as adultery, are raised by the innocent spouse to gain a greater (or disproportionate) award of the community estate.

How many years do you have to be married to get alimony in Texas? ›

So even in divorce cases where one of the spouses earns a sizeable income, that is the most you can expect. In addition, you must be married a minimum of 10 years in order to qualify for spousal maintenance in Texas.”

Can you sue your spouse for emotional distress in Texas? ›

Marital Tort – Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

As discussed in a recent blog post, this is not possible in Texas as our state does not recognize this cause of action. The most common tort pursued by a married person against their spouse is a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress.

What not to do before you get divorced? ›

Here are the top 10 tips on what to avoid when filing for divorce.
  • Don't Get Pregnant. ...
  • Don't Forget to Change Your Will. ...
  • Don't Dismiss the Possibility of Collaborative Divorce or Mediation. ...
  • Don't Sleep With Your Lawyer. ...
  • Don't Take It out on the Kids. ...
  • Don't Refuse to See a Therapist. ...
  • Don't Wait Until After the Holidays.
2 May 2022

How do I protect myself financially in a divorce in Texas? ›

Protect Yourself: 6 Smart Ways to Financially Prepare for Divorce
  1. Gather a team of experts. ...
  2. Pay attention to your finances. ...
  3. Check your credit score. ...
  4. Gather important documents. ...
  5. Start saving NOW! ...
  6. Consult with an experienced Texas family law attorney.
21 Feb 2019

Is it illegal to date while going through a divorce in Texas? ›

In some states, there are strict laws about dating while still married. However, in Texas, there is no rule that states you cannot see someone new while in the process of filing for divorce. However, just because it's legal to do so, there are a few reasons why you might want to wait.

Does cheating matter in Texas divorce? ›

Adultery and divorce: Can infidelity affect divorce settlements in Texas? Yes. If you are able to convince a judge that your spouse's cheating is the ground on which your divorce should be based, you could be awarded a greater share of the marital property.

Is texting considered adultery in Texas? ›

Texas Family Code section 6.003 defines “adultery” as a married person voluntarily engaging in sexual activity with another individual who is not their spouse during the marriage. However, non-sexual activities such as texting, flirting over social media, and other consented actions aren't strictly considered adultery.

Can phone records be used to prove adultery in Texas? ›

When a spouse suspects adultery, the information in any of their shared phone records can be used against the other. Even if the suspected spouse elects not to provide those records, your attorney can petition the court to get them from your carrier.

What are the consequences of adultery? ›

Infidelity undermines the very foundation of marriage in many ways. It causes heartbreak and devastation, loneliness, feelings of betrayal, and confusion to one or both spouses in a marriage. Some marriages break after an affair.

Can adultery be forgiven by spouse? ›

While forgiveness may be a necessary part of infidelity recovery, it generally does not occur at the beginning of the recovery process. In my experience, forgiveness more often comes near the end of the process. To the partner who was betrayed, forgiveness often means the end of the journey.

What are your rights if your husband commits adultery? ›

A court may reduce your spouse's awarded portion of any property acquired during the marriage if the spouse committed adultery or spent money on gifts, vacations, or living expenses for the person with whom they were having an affair.

What are the three types of adultery? ›

5 Types of Adultery You Probably Did not Know About
  • Passionate Adultery. Couples frequently consider physical unfaithfulness first with regards to put stock in infringement in the relationship, however regularly ignore enthusiastic disloyalty. ...
  • Energetic Adultery. ...
  • Mental Adultery. ...
  • Visual Adultery. ...
  • Spiritual Adultery.
20 Jun 2018

Does infidelity affect outcome of divorce? ›

The only time that conduct associated with cheating could potentially be a factor considered by the court, is if the cheating party has 'wasted' matrimonial assets in a reckless or negligent way.

Does adultery have to be proven? ›

You do not require definitive proof of adultery.

Many spouses assume that it is necessary to provide hard proof of their spouse's adultery, such as pictures or videotapes. Although this is a possibility, it certainly isn't necessary.

Do you still get half if you cheat Texas? ›

According to Texas Family Code section 6.003, “The court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if the other spouse has committed adultery.” Texas is a community property state, which means that in the course of divorce proceedings, each spouse is generally granted 50% of the jointly held assets.

What's the difference between adultery and infidelity? ›

What is the Difference Between Infidelity and Adultery? Adultery often refers to a physical relationship outside of marriage. It occurs when one partner is sexually involved with another without their partner's consent. Unlike adultery, infidelity can be physical, emotional, or both.

What happens if you can prove adultery? ›

If you could prove that your ex was having an affair, you would have a higher chance of receiving the divorce terms you ask for, such as a greater portion of the marital assets, or even sole custody of your children. Adultery was even grounds for both criminal and civil lawsuits.

Is spousal support mandatory in Texas? ›

Is Spousal Support Mandatory in Texas? No, spousal support is not mandatory in Texas. In the case of a divorce where a spouse is seeking spousal support, the judge will ensure that the situation meets the requirements laid out in Texas law in order to qualify for spousal support.

What is the maximum spousal support in Texas? ›

The amount of spousal maintenance the judge orders a spouse to pay involuntarily cannot be more than $5000 per month or 20% of the paying spouse's average monthly gross income, whichever is lower.

What qualifies a spouse for alimony in Texas? ›

The Lone Star State has one of the narrowest spousal support laws in the country. Typically, to qualify for alimony in Texas, the marriage must have lasted at least ten years and the obligee (person requesting support) must be unable to earn enough to meet basic needs.

What is considered cruel treatment in a divorce in Texas? ›

Texas Fault Ground for Divorce - Cruelty

Cruel treatment means the behavior of one spouse is so extreme as to make it impossible for the parties to live together under the same roof. This cruel treatment can be physical or emotional in nature.

How do you prove mental anguish in Texas? ›

There must be evidence of the nature, severity, or duration of the plaintiff's anguish substantially disrupting the injured party's daily routine, or such a high degree of mental pain that is more than anger, embarrassment, vexation, anxiety, or worry for mental anguish damages.

Can I sue my ex for PTSD? ›

After a person has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, they may be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the person who caused them to develop the disorder.

What saves a marriage from divorce? ›

As a solution for how to save your marriage from divorce, Make counseling a top priority. Find a good marriage counselor and make an appointment as soon as possible. An experienced marriage therapist can help you both reach common ground and systematically work through deep-seated issues.

At what point is divorce the best option? ›

Other signs that divorce might be the best choice for you: Your spouse has shown a repeated pattern of abuse. Your spouse has alcohol or substance abuse issues and will not get help. Your spouse has repeatedly been unfaithful and shows no real interest in changing.

How do you secretly save for a divorce? ›

The Truth about Financial Infidelity
  1. Start by hiding any new income from your spouse. ...
  2. Overpay your taxes. ...
  3. Get cash back — lots of it. ...
  4. Open your own online bank account. ...
  5. Get your own credit card. ...
  6. Stash your own prepaid or gift cards. ...
  7. Rent a safe deposit box.

Who pays the bills during a divorce in Texas? ›

Who has to pay the debts from our marriage after the divorce? In an uncontested divorce, you can agree to divide your marital debts however you want to. In most circumstances, a court will divide them 50/50 or try to assign a party the debts in that party's name.

Who keeps house in divorce Texas? ›

The most common type of real estate divided during a divorce is the marital house. If one spouse wants to stay in the home, they can agree to keep the house and the debt associated with the house. The parties may also agree that one spouse will keep the house and give the other spouse half of the equity.

Who gets the car in a divorce in Texas? ›

Texas is a community property state, which means that all joint assets are generally divided on a 50/50 basis in a final divorce settlement.

What voids a marriage in Texas? ›

There are two grounds for declaring a marriage void in Texas: Consanguinity. The existence of a prior marriage.

Is a sexless marriage grounds for divorce in Texas? ›

When it comes to divorce, Texas law is pretty clear: one spouse can't force the other to stay in the marriage. So, if you're in a marriage that lacks intimacy and wondering if you can divorce your spouse for that reason, the answer is yes.

What is the longest a divorce can take in Texas? ›

Due to the Texas mandatory 60 day waiting period, the absolute quickest that a divorce can be finalized is 61 days. Realistically, however, it will take a bit longer for most couples to be granted a divorce in Texas; typically anywhere from 6 months to a year.

Does adultery affect settlement? ›

Many people believe that if they or their spouse admit to adultery, this will have an impact on any financial settlement they reach. This is a misconception, however, as the process of reaching a financial settlement is entirely separate to the process of legally ending your marriage.

Does a husband have to pay alimony if the wife's adultery is proved in court? ›

The sub-section reads, “No wife shall be entitled to receive an allowance from her husband under this section if she is living in adultery, or if, without any sufficient reason, she refuses to live with her husband, or if they are living separately by mutual consent.”

What are the consequences of adultery in marriage? ›

Infidelity undermines the very foundation of marriage in many ways. It causes heartbreak and devastation, loneliness, feelings of betrayal, and confusion to one or both spouses in a marriage. Some marriages break after an affair. Others survive, become stronger and more intimate.

What proof do you need to prove adultery? ›

Proving adultery took place in your marriage is difficult but possible. Direct evidence (not hearsay) can come in the form of proof, such as eyewitness testimony or the guilty party admitting to the adultery (can be either the spouse or the paramour). There is also circumstantial evidence that can act as proof.

What is the usual punishment for adultery? ›

In the United States, punishment for adultery can vary widely from state to state, from life imprisonment (Michigan) to a small monetary fine (Maryland). However, though adultery laws may still be on the books in the U.S., they are rarely enforced.

How is adultery viewed in divorce? ›

While some states have made adultery illegal, California is not one of them. On its own, adultery or cheating by either spouse is not likely to affect a divorce in California.

What should you not do after infidelity? ›

The 7 Deadly Sins: What Not To Do After an Affair
  • Tell Your Entire Family & All Your Friends. ...
  • Blast Your Partner on Social Media. ...
  • Make Life Altering Decisions. ...
  • Place All Blame on The Other Affair Partner. ...
  • Obsess Over the Other Affair Partner. ...
  • Blame Yourself. ...
  • Think You Can Recover On Your Own.

How do you prove infidelity in Texas court? ›

To prove adultery in Texas, the evidence must show infidelity occurred during the course of the marriage, which includes acts of adultery committed after a separation. Although adultery can be established by direct or circumstantial evidence, clear and positive proof is necessary.

Can wife be denied alimony? ›

– She should have valid reasons to stay away or seek maintenance. – There must be neglect, refusal or inadequate provision made by husband for her maintenance. – Any maintenance granted can be varied or rescinded by courts, if there is change in circumstances. – The rights terminate on marriage of divorced woman.

What are disadvantages of adultery? ›

The turmoil, fear, uncertainty, the anger, the tears, the withdrawal, the accusations, the distraction, the fighting affects everyone in the family and in particular children who by nature are very sensitive and dependent upon their parents for emotional and physical stability and safety.

Videos

1. Does Committing Adultery Impact Division Of Assets In A Divorce In Texas? | (210) 960-8977
(Cruz Law, P.C.)
2. How Adultery Can Affect Your Divorce Case - Men's Divorce Podcast
(Cordell & Cordell)
3. CHEATING & DIVORCE: How Cheating Impacts Property Settlement, Alimony and Child Custody in 2022!
(Madana Hurmoz)
4. How Can Adultery Affect A Divorce Case?
(Ali Shah)
5. Grounds of Adultery: How does Adultery Affect a Divorce in the UK?
(Woolley & Co, Solicitors - family law specialists)
6. How Adultery Affects Divorce Cases
(Aaron Thomas Law)
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