How Evidence of Cheating Can Affect Your Divorce
Studies have shown that roughly 45 to 50 percent of married women and 50-to-60 percent of married men have engaged in at least one extramarital affair at some point during the course of their marriage, according to Divorce Magazine.
Discovering your spouse is cheating on you can be an emotionally devastating revelation. Many marriages end due to the discovery of an unfaithful spouse. Evidence of adultery can play a significant role on how a Texas court decides to divide assets and how to award alimony.
Texas allows a married couple to file a “no-fault” divorce, but you also have the ability to file a divorce based on the fault of your spouse.
How Texas Law Defines Adultery
In Texas, adultery is defined as the voluntary sexual intercourse with a person besides your spouse. You may surprised to learn that adultery is still a factor, even when it was committed after you and your spouse decided to separate and live apart.
Proving Adultery in Court
If you file for divorce based upon a cheating spouse, your Houston divorce lawyer needs to be prepared to introduce evidence to the court substantiating the allegations of an affair. You do not have to prove that your spouse actually engaged in sexual intercourse, but your lawyers needs to offer some form of circumstantial evidence to support the cheating claim. Examples of circumstantial evidence include:
- Phone call records
- Text messages
- Credit card and bank statements
- Email messages
- Social media postings
Adultery and Alimony
Many courts, including those in Texas, consider adultery when deciding if a spouse is we be awarded alimony. In fact, Texas courts have the discretion to deny alimony to a cheating spouse. Texas courts also consider the adultery of a spouse who is asked to pay alimony, especially when the adultery was the basis for the end of the marriage.
Adultery and Property Division
Texas is unique in that courts have the discretion to consider a spouse’s adultery when determining how to divide the marital property in a divorce. Texas courts will also consider any marital funds that were spent on the affair, including funds spent on hotel reservations, dinners, gifts, and trips.
Adultery and Child Custody
One area of divorce law that is not affected by a cheating spouse is child custody and visitation. When it comes to awarding custody, Texas courts place a greater emphasis on the parenting abilities of each spouse when deciding who will have custody of the child, or children. However, the decision to cheat may influence the visitation rights awarded by the court, especially if there is evidence that a spouse left their children for extended periods of time in order to engage in the extramarital affair.
Contact a Houston Divorce Lawyer Right Now
As you can see, adultery can play a significant role in your divorce. This is why it makes sense to retain the services of an experienced Houston divorce lawyer. Contact Lindamood & Robinson, P.C. today to schedule a confidential consultation.