Adultery in a marriage is never an easy discovery. Trust and stability are fundamentally altered in a marriage and could justifiably lead to the end of it altogether. As if that was not enough already, the legal situation can get complicated when adultery is involved in a Texas divorce. While the emotional impact is significant, it is important to consider the practical considerations for an equitable divorce settlement when adultery is involved.
To get the most out of your Texas divorce, you need to think clearly and strategically, even when the emotional response to adultery threatens to overshadow the entire endeavor. The complexity of divorce law is hard to deal with at the best of times, so having a Texas divorce lawyer by your side can make the process much easier. Take a look at how a divorce attorney can help your case, especially if the divorce is not amicable.
Adultery is defined in the Texas Family Code 6.003 as the voluntary sexual intercourse of a married person with someone other than their spouse. What constitutes cheating in any given marriage is not as important as how the state law specifically defines adultery if you expect it to be relevant to any divorce proceedings.
To prove adultery in a Texas court, you must demonstrate that the infidelity occurred during the marriage. This includes any point in time in which your spouse was separated but still legally married. You can prove adultery by both direct and circumstantial evidence. This includes emails, text messages, social media posts, and more direct evidence like photos and video footage.
When judges determine what qualifies as a just and right division of community property or marital assets in your divorce, they consider a variety of factors. Adultery is just one of many factors that could impact their decision.
While the impact of adultery is fairly limited in most cases, it is possible for a judge to award a larger share of the community marital property to one partner if their spouse was demonstrably unfaithful. This can additionally include reimbursement for wasted community assets. For example, a cheating spouse may use money in the community marital estate to facilitate their affair to pay for hotel rooms, dinners, credit cards, etc. A court may rule that the unfaithful spouse must reimburse the innocent spouse for the use of those funds.
Alimony or spousal support is only allowed in particular circumstances in the state of Texas. Most of the time, divorcees do not have to worry about spousal support. Because of this, adultery does not really play a role in alimony awards whatsoever. While a judge may consider adultery as a contributing factor, alimony is dependent on the spouse requesting support being unable to provide for their own minimum reasonable needs. Additionally, a spouse claiming alimony must meet at least one of the following criteria.
Texas judges consider a variety of factors when determining child custody and child support, but adultery tends not to play much of a role. Ultimately, family court rules on custody decisions based on what is in the best interests of the child above all else. From a legal perspective, someone participating in an extramarital affair does not prevent them from being a good parent and having conservatorship over their child. A judge would consider the following factors, though this list is not exhaustive, to determine a child’s best interests and overall well-being.
Dealing with the emotional turmoil of adultery alongside the legal complexity of divorce is tough to handle on your own, but you do not have to be alone with help from the Law Offices of Chris Schmiedeke, P.C. At our Dallas law firm, we strive to make the divorce petition process as easy as possible while still offering custom solutions for your unique situation in a communicative attorney-client relationship. Our law firm has successfully proven adultery before the Court in divorce cases, and we can do the same for you.
Take a look at what some of our previous clients have said about our legal advice and services.
“Chris and his team are amazing. They were quick and responsive to my emails and questions. Their billing process is very transparent. They were very understanding and diligent in handling my complex case.” — Jas V
“The team was amazing. They all were very helpful, patient, and understanding of my situation. Even the front desk was so helpful and informative when I had questions. They got everything done as smoothly and quickly as could be. I would definitely use them if needed in the future. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.” — Patrick S.
“Lisa, Amanda, and Vanessa were very pleasant to work with. They kept right on my case and let me know step-by-step exactly everything that was going on. The communication was outstanding, and I highly recommend this law firm to others.” — Sarah M.
One of the main causes of divorce in Texas is infidelity, though that is followed closely by incompatibility. However, it is important to remember that marriages are complex relationships, and there is often no singular cause that leads to divorce. When people consider what caused the breakdown of the marriage, they typically reference what the last straw was rather than something that was the sole factor. Here are some other reasons for divorce in Texas.
In Texas, there are seven grounds for divorce, including both fault and no-fault grounds. In order to get divorced, your marriage must meet at least one of the following grounds for divorce.
Yes, Texas is a community property state in the sense that all property obtained through the duration of the marriage is considered to be jointly owned by both spouses. When it comes to divorce, however, Texas utilizes the just and right division standard, which strives for an equitable distribution of the community estate rather than splitting everything 50-50 by default.
According to Texas state law, adultery is specifically defined as the sexual intercourse of a married person with someone who is not their spouse. While other behaviors may qualify as cheating in one’s personal relationship, adultery is legally defined as intercourse.
No, adultery is not illegal in Texas. While it is not a criminal act, it can play a role in the divorce proceedings and how the judge makes decisions.
At the Law Offices of Chris Schmiedeke P.C., we are happy to work with you on your divorce case to protect your rights and work towards an equitable distribution of assets. To get started with the divorce process, give us a call at 214-989-7375 or fill out our online contact form.
I was born in Dallas and spent the majority of my life here. I moved to Denver in the middle of the first grade and moved back to Plano in the middle of the eleventh grade. I graduated from Plano Senior High in 1984 and then attended Richland College and the University of North Texas where a received a Bachelor of Business Administration. From there I attended the Texas Tech University School of Law and was licensed to practice law in May of 1993.