Couples break up for many reasons, but adultery has historically been a factor in many divorce decisions. There are few things more upsetting than finding out your spouse has been cheating on you. However, there is some good news. In Texas, your spouse’s infidelity could hurt them in divorce. Texas judges will consider your spouse’s adultery in a contested divorce, and you might gain an edge over your spouse if you can find sufficient evidence to prove they were stepping out on you. Please contact a League City divorce lawyer at Tad Nelson & Associates today to discuss your case.
Why Adultery Matters in Divorce
Texas judges don’t punish adulterers out of moral reasons. Instead, Texas law allows judges to consider adultery in certain situations.
For example, adultery can matter when deciding alimony. If a judge finds that alimony is warranted, they then consider a variety of factors to set the amount of alimony and duration. Under Texas Family Code § 8.052, adultery is one of those factors. So if you qualify for adultery and your spouse cheated, you might get more alimony overall.
Adultery can also impact the division of community property. In fact, judges can depart from a 50/50 split if a spouse’s adultery broke up the marriage. That means you might get more of the community property, although judges admittedly consider many factors and not just adultery when making a “just” division of community assets.
Lastly, adultery could impact child custody. A judge will decide custody according to what is in the child’s best interests. Infidelity won’t keep a parent from getting custody—but the circumstances matter. If your spouse had a new lover around your children a lot, and this new person had a criminal history or was dangerous, then a judge might hold that against your spouse.
Why Evidence is Important
If you allege adultery, then it’s up to you and your legal team to prove it. Anyone can go into court and allege anything they want. But judges want evidence. In fact, you have the burden of proving adultery by clear evidence, which means innuendo is not enough.
So how do you find evidence of adultery? It can be hard. Very few people are publicly intimate or sharing sex tapes of themselves. Does this mean you have to install a hidden camera in your bedroom to catch your spouse in the act?
Not at all. Instead, we can rely on other evidence, like the following.
Your Spouse Admitted the Affair
Maybe your spouse has told someone else of the affair or even admitted it to you. You can use your spouse’s words against them in divorce. Of course, your spouse might turn around and deny ever admitting to an affair. But if you have evidence in written form, like texts, emails, or DMs on social media, then you have solid proof.
You also have solid evidence if your spouse told someone else, like a friend or family member. So long as your witness has credibility, you can use them.
Your Spouse Had a Child with their New Lover
Your spouse might have even conceived a child with their paramour. DNA evidence is pretty conclusive proof that the two of them had sexual relations. We can use this evidence to establish not only the fact of adultery, but also its timing.
The Lover Admits to the Affair
You don’t have to wait around for your husband or wife to admit guilt. The person they had relations with could admit to the affair. The odds of this happening go up if the affair has already ended by the time you file divorce papers.
You Have Proof of them Meeting Secretly
A private investigator might photograph your husband and his new paramour going in and out of hotels or motels. Or witnesses could have seen them exiting an apartment with their clothes disheveled on more than one occasion.
Similarly, you might have credit card statements showing your spouse renting a hotel room, and their alleged lover’s cell phone records put them at the same location on the same day. At some point, it’s hard to explain away evidence that all points in one direction: your spouse is cheating on you.
Contact Our League City Divorce Lawyer to Discuss
Our firm is not afraid to allege adultery, if that’s what you want to do. We can also strategize on what evidence is useful at proving your case. For more information, contact Tad Nelson and Associates for a free consultation.