Family Law & Adultery Representation — League City, Texas
There are numerous reasons the marital relationship may break down, as many spouses might grow apart or realize they have different life goals. However, when adultery enters the picture, divorce often becomes imminent. Cheating by one spouse can lead to feelings of anger, resentment, and frustration, making it difficult to move forward with the marriage. Still, you might be surprised to learn that adultery can also have a significant impact on divorce proceedings, starting from the very beginning of the process. The Texas Family Code does allow for no-fault divorce, but there are multiple grounds that a party could state when filing a petition. Adultery is one of them.
Regardless of whether your spouse was unfaithful or you are accused of infidelity, you have important rights to protect in a Texas divorce case. Our divorce lawyer at The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates is dedicated to advising clients with complex matters like marital misconduct, so you can count on us to serve your needs. Please contact us to set up a consultation with our divorce lawyers, and read on for some basic concepts.
You might have your own view on what constitutes cheating and a violation of trust, but Texas divorce laws use a standardized definition. The lines are clear that adultery is actual, consensual sexual intercourse between a person who is married and someone who is not his or her spouse. Anything less is probably not, which can create significant challenges with gathering evidence.
- Informing the court that your spouse cheated is insufficient; it simply creates a he-said/she-said situation.
- Parties engaged in an affair are typically very secretive and go to great lengths to hide infidelity.
- The exchange of sexually explicit content, such as photos, videos, and texts, will not be enough to establish adultery.
However, when you have enough circumstantial evidence of an affair that cannot be ignored, there may be sufficient proof of adultery. Messages about a meeting place, credit card records from a hotel, photos and video of the pair together, and other information is useful as evidence.
Note that the definition of adultery does apply when spouses have a legal separation but not yet divorced. Until the case is finalized, having an affair with a non-spouse is adultery. For a rundown of all our legal services, give us a call today!
How Infidelity Impacts Divorce Proceedings
As mentioned, adultery could be claimed as grounds for divorce in the petition to initiate the divorce case; the spouse who receives divorce paperwork from the other, i.e., the respondent, could also raise the issue in the response. However, when stating infidelity as grounds for divorce, the matter only pertains to the legal end of the marriage.
There are still key issues the parties must address in divorce, and there are two areas where adultery could have a significant impact:
1. Property Division: Texas is a community property state in which all marital assets are split equally between the parties. However, courts can consider adultery when determining property division because a judge is allowed to review all factors that are “just and right.” This language leaves the door open for a court to award a higher value to the non-cheating spouse.
2. Issues Related to Minor Children: When infidelity took place in the presence of the parties’ children, there can be effects for child custody and visitation. The cheating spouse exposed the child to misconduct, potentially leading to a sole managing conservatorship and reduced visitation rights.
Resolving Disputes Despite Misconduct
It might seem outrageous to think that you could resolve any aspect of a divorce case when one spouse alleges adultery. However, both parties are in a somewhat precarious position from a legal standpoint:
- For the faithful spouse, collecting evidence and being able to prove adultery is a challenge that may not be overcome.
- The spouse who was unfaithful has a lot to lose with respect to property division and child custody and visitation.
Under the circumstances, there is risk and uncertainty by going to court to have a judge decide. A marital settlement agreement may be advisable as compared to litigation, especially when you consider the fact that you have legal support by a legal professional. Through your respective League City divorce lawyers, you may be able to sort through disagreements rather than try to negotiate with each other.
Plus, mediation is another option for resolving divorce disputes. The session is an informal proceeding outside the courtroom, in which the parties gain legal assistance and work with a mediation professional to find solutions for divorce. The mediator has special training designed to facilitate productive conversations and compromise. If you reach an agreement, it can be entered in court as a binding order. If not, you can still take your case before a judge.
Legal Help with Adultery in Divorce
The process is complicated even when a divorce case does not involve cheating, but the stakes are higher when a party claims adultery. When you have League City divorce attorneys to represent you, you can be sure that your rights are protected. The Tad Nelson family law attorneys will handle the important tasks, including:
- Investigating claims of adultery and gathering evidence;
- Reviewing evidence to dispute an affair, if you were accused of cheating;
- Discussing settlement options with opposing counsel in an attempt to reach agreement;
- Participating in mediation;
- Preparing and reviewing documents when you agree divorce issues, including the written agreement, the court order, and supporting paperwork; and,
- Taking your case to court for a contested hearing on the issue of adultery.
Set Up a Consultation with a League City Adultery Lawyer Today
This overview of Texas divorce laws is useful, and it should help you understand the basics on what happens when a spouse cheats. However, the information also points out the importance of retaining skilled legal counsel from a skilled divorce lawyer for assistance. The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates will advocate on your behalf, whether you stand accused or suspect infidelity. For more information on how our divorce attorney can support you in your divorce disputes, please call (281) 962-7817 or check out our website. We can schedule a consultation with a Texas adultery attorney who will provide details.
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