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How Does Adultery Affect Divorce In Texas?

How Does Adultery Affect Divorce in Texas?

Going through a divorce can be overwhelming and confusing under the best of circumstances. When adultery is a factor in the divorce, it might not only make the process that much more emotionally charged and challenging, but it might also have an impact on the outcome.

The best way to understand and protect your rights throughout the divorce process is to contact a compassionate and experienced lawyer. Contact the Bedford family law and divorce attorneys at Hargrave Law, PC, today. Schedule a consultation with us by calling 817-282-0679 or send us a message.

Grounds for Divorce Based on Adultery in Texas

In the state of Texas, several reasons may be cited as grounds for divorce. The most common is insupportability, which the law states is a conflict without reasonable expectation of reconciliation. Adultery is grounds for divorce under the Texas Family Code. The law allows the court to grant greater favor for one spouse if they can prove the other spouse committed adultery.

In Texas, adultery is a legal term, which means a married individual had voluntary sexual intercourse with someone who is not their spouse. Sexual intercourse may have occurred during the spouses’ marriage or their separation and still meet the legal definition of adultery. This is because legal separation is not recognized in Texas. Adultery is not illegal in Texas. However, it can impact your divorce.

The court will require evidence that adultery took place during the marriage or separation. In other words, suggestion or innuendo is not sufficient evidence to prove to the court that adultery occurred. Documentation, emails, text messages, or images, or similar evidence may be needed to help prove your case.

Does Adultery Affect Alimony?

In Texas, alimony is also called spousal maintenance. Under Texas Family Law, alimony is not guaranteed to either spouse. To be eligible for spousal maintenance, the court must first find that you’re unable to meet your own minimum reasonable needs and that you meet one of the following criteria:

  • You have a physical or mental disability that prevents you from earning sufficient income.
  • Your spouse was convicted of domestic violence within two years of the divorce.
  • The marriage lasted ten years or more, and you’re unable to meet your financial needs.
  • You can’t work due to taking care of a minor or adult child who needs substantial supervision.

If at least one of those circumstances is met, then the judge will consider additional factors to determine the amount and the duration of the alimony. One of those factors is misconduct that occurred during the marriage, including adultery. Many courts may also take adultery into account when dividing the couple’s property.

Does Adultery Impact Child Custody?

Although adultery can result in emotional challenges for the entire family, it does not affect child custody unless the actions of the cheating adult had an impact on the child. Adultery can impact child custody when the cheating spouse carried on the relationship in front of their children while married to the children’s mother or father or exposed them to dangerous or inappropriate situations while cheating

Otherwise, the court does not have to consider adultery as they determine child custody. Although you may not have control over the role your spouse plays in your children’s lives after the divorce, we may be able to help you seek some control over how much your spouse exposes your children to their partners. You can request stipulations that may make you feel more comfortable. These could include:

  • Meeting someone before they’re introduced to children
  • Provisions about how much exposure your child has to your spouse’s new love interest
  • Stipulations about whether someone can spend the night when your children are in the house

The judge will consider your requested stipulations. You’re more likely to get what you ask for when it’s apparent you are seeking actions in the best interest of your children’s welfare.

How an Attorney Can Help

The Bedford family and divorce lawyers at Hargrave Law, PC, are committed to getting the best possible outcome for your case. We will learn your story and personalize our approach to meet your needs, and we’ll be by your side every step of the way.

Contact us online today or call us at 817-282-0679 for a confidential consultation with a compassionate and highly experienced family law attorney.


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