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Will evidence of adultery impact my alimony award in Texas?

Adultery is one of the most common causes of divorce.  It is believed that somewhere between ten and 30 percent of all divorces occur due to adultery by one or both of the spouses.  Before the advent of the “no-fault” divorce, adultery used to serve as one of the major grounds for divorce between couples.  Today, Texas, along with most other states, allows for no-fault divorces in which the couple does not have to list a reason for the breakdown of the marriage.  Nonetheless, Texas still allows for the filing offault based divorces and adultery can have a tremendous financial impact on divorce in the state. Our Midland, Texas divorce lawyers explore the role of adultery in divorce today below.


Filing for a Fault Based Divorce

If your spouse has committed adultery, in the state of Texas you will have the option to file either a no-fault or fault based divorce.  In order to seek an adultery fault-based divorce, you will need to have evidence that your spouse cheated.  This is often hard to do, but could be worth pursuing if you believe you can meet the evidentiary standard.  Know that the court is not obligated to ultimately make its final ruling on the basis of fault.

If you can successfully file for divorce based on fault, you may receive a greater share of the community property in the divorce settlement.  Texas law provides that property acquired during the marriage will generally be considered community property and subject to division between the divorcing spouses.  A spouse who can prove his or her husband had an affair that lead to the divorce could request and potentially receive a greater share of the community assets.


Alimony and Adultery

Texas courts will award alimony when necessary to compensate a spouse whose ability to earn an income has diminished during the marriage and who does not have sufficient funds to support him or herself.  Alimony can be awarded when domestic violence existed in the marriage, the couple was married for over ten years, the spouse seeking support has a mental or physical disability, or the spouse seeking support cares for a minor child with a disability.

Adultery is not a grounds to award alimony, but if the court determines alimony can be awarded, misconduct that occurred during the marriage could influence the amount and length of the alimony award.  In this manner, adultery could influence the divorce outcome even if you seek a no-fault divorce.