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Divorce Laws In Texas Adultery

How Is A Divorce In Texas Granted Will I Have To Go To Court

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In an agreed divorce, a divorce is granted upon one of the parties showing up at the time set by the court and attending a prove-up hearing. During the prove-up hearing, either the judge or the attorney will ask the parties standard questions about the decree and the judge will sign the final decree and it will be filed with the court.

If the terms of the divorce cannot be agreed upon by the parties, then the parties will have to go to Final Trial in which the parties will conduct a full trial after which the court or jury will decide the terms of the divorce. The terms will then be drawn up into a divorce decree that will govern the divorce.

Tarrant Countys Compassionate Divorce Attorney

Since 2001, Wendy L. Hart has been helping people in the Fort Worth area with various family law issues, including divorce. She represents both men and women, including child support, child custody/visitation, estate, and other family law matters. As a divorcee herself, she understands what its like to go through one, and will work to help you through it.

If you find yourself facing a divorce, you can visit our Mansfield office at 2363 Highway 287 N, Suite 108, use our online contact form, or call us at 842-2336.

How Is Adultery Proven In Divorce

Are you considering filing for divorce based on the grounds of adultery? If so, youll want to understand that the court will require you to prove that the affair occurred.

You can use direct or circumstantial evidence to prove that your spouse committed adultery, but it needs to go beyond mere suggestion or innuendo.

This means that it isnt enough for you to simply state that your spouse cheated on you. You will need to provide evidence that supports and proves the claims you are making.

Unfortunately, adultery can be very difficult to prove because it is secretive by its very nature. You dont need to prove that your spouse actually had sexual intercourse with another person as long as you can provide enough circumstantial evidence that points towards the existence of the affair.

Some of the types of evidence you can produce to show that your spouse was most likely involved in an adulterous affair include:

  • Bank statements or credit card statements
  • Direct messages from social media or other social media activity that is suspicious

The evidence you provide will need to make it reasonably clear that your spouse was committing adultery during your marriage. Some individuals might enlist the help of a private investigator in order to get the evidence they need to prove adultery to the court.

Are you considering getting divorced without the help of an attorney? Make sure you read this post about how to file for divorce in Texas without a lawyer.

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Adultery Can Impact Child Custody

The best interests of the child are the paramount consideration when a court is determining issues related to custody and visitation.

Misconduct by the parents may affect the decision on these matters if the acts have a direct, adverse effect on the childs interests. As such, its unusual for infidelity to affect child custody, but its not unheard of. It will depend entirely on the nature of the affair, how the children feel about it, and what negative consequences there were for the children.

What Is My Role As The Client

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You should be as informed and as involved in your case as possible. Educate yourself about the process of divorce. Read any and all emails, texts, letters or paperwork your attorney sends you. If you dont understand something, ask a question. Better yet, make a list of questions for your attorney, and ask them all in one phone call or email to save time, as most lawyers charge by the hour.

Your attorney should send you a copy of all the documents that are either sent between your lawyer and the opposing lawyer or filed with the court. Save these documents! Make a file in which to keep them, and bring the file with you each time that you visit your attorneys office, or at least the parts of your file the attorney asks you to bring or you want to talk to him/her about. Typically, a lawyer now will email you your documents so make an electronic file. Pay close attention to all court orders that are signed by a judge.

You should be totally honest with your attorney. Give all information about anything that even MAY be important in your case. This includes not only information that helps you but also all facts which might hurt your case. Chances are, your spouse or his/her attorney is going to find out about them anyway, so dont let your attorney be the last to know. The bad stuff is usually not as harmful as you think.

Read Also: Why Do Divorces Take So Long

What If The Adultery Occurred After We Separated

The state of Texas doesnt recognize legal separation the way that some other U.S. states do. No matter how separated you and your spouse are in practice, you are technically married until the final divorce decree is issued by a judge.

This means that Texas courts will consider acts of sexual intercourse with parties outside the marriage to be adultery, even if you and your spouse have agreed to live separately and end your relationship. For this reason, it is important to wait to start dating until your divorce is final so it doesnt have a negative impact on the outcome you receive.

Do I Really Need To Hire A Texas Divorce Attorney

Whether a party really needs an attorney for a divorce in Texas depends on the facts of the case. Attorneys are professionals and know their field extremely well. They can offer you their guidance and counsel you through your divorce.

Texas Divorce lawyers can also see issues that may not occur to couples proceeding pro se, such as tax treatment of financial issues surrounding the divorce, issues with exercising possession and access of your children, and even discovery of hidden assets. A good analogy is if you had no medical experience, would you treat your own broken leg or would you go to a doctor to have it repaired?

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What Is Child Custody In Texas

Child custody issues in Texas are divided into two different categories. These are:

  • Conservatorship
  • Possession and access

If you are getting divorced with children, child custody is probably one of the issues that you are most concerned about.

Conservatorship covers the duties and rights of parents to make decisions about their children, such as medical decisions, educational decisions, and psychiatric decisions. One person might be allowed to make all the decisions, which is known as Sole Managing Conservatorship, or both parents might jointly have the right to make these decisions, which is known as Joint Managing Conservatorship.

Texas courts are interested in what is in the best interest of the children when it comes to these issues.

Possession and access cover when parents can visit with their children or when they have physical custody. The two statutory schedules for possession and access are:

  • Standard schedule
  • Extended standard schedule

These schedules outline how parenting is split between two parents. That being said, courts can award a different schedule if they believe it is in the best interest of the child. The involved parties can also agree on a possession and access schedule that fits with their needs so long as it is still in the best interest of the children.

If you’re concerned about child custody, you are probably also interested in learning more about child support. This article covers how child support is calculated in Texas.

Can I Get Maintenance Or Will I Have To Provide Maintenance To My Spouse

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You can either get maintenance or you will have to provide maintenance to your spouse in only two specific circumstances:

  • The spouse from whom maintenance is requested was convicted or received deferred adjudication for family violence within two years from the suit for dissolution of the marriage or while the suit is pending or
  • If the marriage lasted more than 10 years, the spouse seeking support does not have sufficient property to provide for their minimum reasonable needs, and if the spouse seeking spousal maintenance either:
  • Cannot support themselves and get employment because of an incapacitating physical or mental disability
  • Is the custodian of a child of any age who needs substantial care because of a physical or mental disability making it impossible for that spouse to obtain outside employment or
  • The spouse does not have the earning ability to provide support for that spouses minimum needs.
  • In determining the nature, amount, duration, and manner of periodic payments, the court will review specific statutory factors. Typically, spousal maintenance is limited to three years.

    However, the Texas Family Code does provide some exceptions relating to disability of a spouse or a child. Furthermore, the court may not order a spouse to pay more than $2,500, or 20%, of the spouses gross monthly income, whichever is less.

    Read Also: How Long Is Alimony In California

    How Much Evidence Is Needed To Prove Adultery In Texas

    In order for one spouse to prove that the other is guilty of adultery, they will need to present evidence that infidelity occurred during the marriage. This means that they can provide evidence of adultery even if the spouse didnt have sexual relations with another person until the divorce was underway.

    Clear and positive proof is necessary to prove that a spouse committed adultery. This evidence can either be direct or circumstantial. However, mere innuendo or suggestion isnt considered to be sufficient evidence of adultery.

    A court may not necessarily require that you off proof that sexual intercourse took place between your spouse and another person. Circumstantial evidence can be presented, meaning that the evidence indicates the existence of a relationship even if they dont serve as definitive proof of a sexual relationship.

    Some of the circumstantial evidence that might be presented in court include:

    • Cell phone records
    • Video footage of the relationship
    • Text messages and emails that indicate a romantic or sexual relationship between your spouse and someone else

    When it comes to decisions related to alimony and division of assets, a family court judge in Texas can have a lot of discretionary power. This means that a judge could be significantly influenced by spousal adultery when it comes to property division and the other financial aspects of a divorce.

    Proof Needed For Filing A Divorce On The Basis Of Adultery

    So you know your spouse has been unfaithful, but you donât have the photos to prove that actual sex acts have occurred. Does this just mean that youâre out of luck?

    Well, youâll be relieved to hear that in this case, the law is working in your favor. If you can sufficiently prove that an extra-marital affair has taken place, then Texas courts will often presume that sex acts went along with it.

    But how do you prove an affair, anyway? As exciting as a stakeout sounds, you can put away your telephoto lens because in most cases, infidelity is sufficiently shown with circumstantial evidence alone

    Circumstantial evidence might include things like bank statements, phone records, and texts or emails between your spouse and the person with whom they were cheating. Of course, if you do have photos, that will work as well.

    Also Check: Changing Your Last Name After Divorce

    Can You Get An Annulment In Texas

    Yes, you can get an annulment in Texas. Typically annulments are granted if there was a legal deficiency in the marriage. Examples include: one of the parties was underage one of the parties was under the influence of drugs or alcohol one of the parties is impotent or one of the parties is mentally incapacitated.

    Adultery Laws In Texas

    Who Adultery Statutes Penalized as of 1996 Note Minnesota

    According toTexas Family Code section 6.003, The court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if the other spouse has committed adultery.

    Texas is a community property state, which means that in the course of divorce proceedings, each spouse is generally granted 50% of the jointly held assets.

    In conjunction with community property standards, Texas is also a just and right equitable division state. This means that the court has the ability to divide assets based on additional factors such as the reason for divorce.

    Texas does not recognize legal separation.

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    Adultery Can Impact Property Division

    If one spouse files for a fault-based marriage against the other spouse on the grounds of adultery, it could have a serious impact on the division of property. Texas is a community property state, which means all assets acquired during the marriage will be divided between the parties in a way thats fair, just, and equitable this concept doesnt necessarily require an even split.

    If you can prove that your spouse cheated on you during your marriage, you may be able to persuade the judge to deviate from the standard of equitable property division.

    Judges are not, however, under any obligation to favor the spouse who has been cheated on. Typically in a no-fault divorce, assets will be divided in half.

    A judge could decide, however, that the at-fault spouse should give up more than half of their combined assets. This will most likely happen when adultery was the sole factor for the dissolution of the marriage. It can also happen when the at-fault spouse spent lavishly on their lover.

    Does Adultery Affect Alimony In Texas

    Alimony is only granted in Texas under a particular set of circumstances defined by law. Without going into great detail, they all have to do with one spouse not being able to earn a living on their own. Adultery is not a basis for alimony, but if the court decides alimony could be awarded, the amount and duration of the alimony award may be influenced by misconduct that occurred during the marriage.

    If a divorcee meets these requirements, judges have a lengthy list of factors to consider when determining alimony. This is where adulterys modest influence manifests itself. Adultery is specifically mentioned as a factor to consider, as is financial dishonesty, which can often go in tandem with cheating. As with property division, judges have a lot of leeway when it comes to alimony, so you shouldnt count on cheating to influence the outcome.

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    What If I Am In The Military And Out Of The State Of Texas

    Texas residents serving in the military and stationed outside of Texas may still be a considered a Texas resident. Military personnel who have not previously resided in Texas, but have been stationed at one or more Texas military bases for at least the last six months and at a military base in a county of Texas for the previous 90 days, are considered Texas residents and residents of that county for the purpose of filing a divorce.

    Impact On Property Distribution

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    Adultery is a ground for divorce in Texas and it can affect aspects of a divorce judgment. Family court judges may consider adultery when distributing property between divorcing spouses, although theyre not obligated to do so. Texas is a community property state. Judges normally divide marital property neatly down the middle, with 50 percent going to each spouse. However, when adultery is a factor, a judge can award more than 50 percent of community property to the wronged spouse. This is most likely to occur when theres clear evidence that one spouses adulterous affair was solely responsible for ending an otherwise good marriage. It might also occur when the straying spouse used marital money and assets to shower gifts on her paramour. In this case, she has dissipated marital assets and a judge might hold her responsible for returning at least half of that money to the injured spouse.

    Also Check: Do Your Own Divorce In Texas

    Your Tarrant County Family Law Attorney

    If you have questions about the effect of adultery on divorce, you should contact an experienced Tarrant County family law attorney. . We look forward to the opportunity to discuss and assist you with your child custody needs.

    Filed Under: divorceTagged With: divorce attorney in texas, texas child custody after divorce, texas divorce lawyer



    How Adultery Can Affect Divorce Outcome

    When divorce is filed on the grounds of adultery and it can be proven by the filing spouse, it can greatly affect the outcome of the divorce. Texas is a community property state however, when adultery can be proven, the filing spouse may be awarded a larger share of the marital property based on specific circumstances. Adultery can also be a significant factor in terms of child custody orders, as the family court decides custody based on what is best for the child. If a spouses adultery poses a risk for involved children, the filing spouse could be given greater consideration in the custody order.

    One concern that divorce attorneys advise is not affected by grounds of adultery is spousal support. In Texas, spousal support is not considered based on fault but on specific conditions that warrant the payment of spousal support. Some of these conditions include domestic violence, disability, or a marriage that has lasted longer than 10 years, with one spouse being unable to support themselves.

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