There is no doubt that adultery and “emotional affairs” that are never consummated have led to countless divorces. If your marriage was destroyed because someone cheated, you may be wondering if and how adultery impacts alimony (spousal support) in a Texas divorce. This is a valid question that is posed by divorcing spouses on a regular basis.
Each state handles adultery differently. California for example, is a no-fault state and judges there are not interested in hearing about adultery unless it’s affected the marital estate. Texas, however, takes a different approach to infidelity. Texas is called a “mixed state,” which means spouses can seek both fault and no-fault divorces, and in the case of fault-based divorces, adultery is one of the grounds.
What Counts as Adultery?
Under Texas law, a spouse commits adultery when they have sexual intercourse with someone who is not their spouse. Since not everyone can afford to hire a private investigator to follow their spouse around and prove adultery, usually circumstantial evidence will suffice. An innocent spouse may be able to prove adultery through credit card receipts, phone records, bank statements, emails, photos and videos, and text messages.
In Texas, adultery can impact a divorce case. If it can be proven that a spouse cheated, he or she may not be eligible for alimony that they would otherwise be entitled to. But it works both ways; if a spouse is being asked to pay alimony and he or she committed adultery and it led to the divorce, the infidelity can be a factor considered by the court.
Adultery can also be considered if it occurred after the spouses separated but they were still married. Generally, adultery does not impact child custody or child support, but it can impact financial matters, such as alimony and property division. For example, if an unfaithful spouse wasted community assets (marital assets) on their boyfriend or girlfriend, it can result in them getting a smaller share of the marital estate.
To learn more about adultery’s impact on alimony and how it may affect your divorce, contact the Law Firm of Johnson & Gaskill PLLC today.