Family and Criminal Law Blog

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Adultery and Divorce in Texas

How could adultery impact my divorce in Texas?

Adultery is one of the most common causes of divorce across the country.  Adultery can be incredibly painful for everyone involved.  Even though Texas allows for no-fault divorce, evidence of adultery could still impact your legal rights in a divorce in the state.  Our Midland Texas divorce lawyers discuss adultery and how it could affect your Texas divorce.

Adultery Defined

Texas law defines adultery as sexual intercourse with a person that is not your spouse.  If your spouse has committed adultery during your marriage, you can elect to bring up the adultery as a grounds for your divorce.  You will need to provide some evidence of the affair, which could include circumstantial evidence, like emails or text messages.  Not everyone will choose to raise the existence of adultery during the divorce, but it is important that spouses understand that, if proven, adultery can affect your right to alimony and community property in a divorce.

Adultery and Your Divorce

Adultery can impact several crucial aspects of your divorce, including alimony.  Texas courts have the power to award alimony to a spouse that cannot support him or herself post-divorce.  Alimony is not awarded automatically, and in recent years, courts have become more reluctant to award alimony.  Alimony is generally issued in only limited circumstances, such as when a couple has been married for over ten years or one of the spouses cannot work full-time because they must care for the couple’s disabled child.  

If the court has determined that a spouse is eligible to receive alimony, it must then set the amount and duration.  One factor to be considered is whether a spouse committed misconduct during the marriage, which includes adultery.  Adultery could be a factor in awarding a higher amount to the spouse that was cheated on, or may be a grounds for denial of alimony for the spouse that committed the alimony.  

Adultery can also impact the division of property in your divorce.  A spouse that committed adultery could receive a smaller share of the couple’s community property.  Anyone who is filing for divorce based on adultery should consult with a divorce lawyer as soon as possible for more information about your legal rights.

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Navarrete & Schwartz, P.C. is located in Midland, Texas and serves the surrounding cities and counties, including: Odessa in Ector County, Andrews County, Martin County, Howard County, Winkler County and Crane County.

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