Texas Adultery Law

Statute Of Limitations On Adultery In Texas

Is Adultery A Crime In Texas

Whether you are a victim of adultery or you cheated on your spouse while married, you need to understand some facts about Texas adultery law. Data from the General Social Survey shows that 21 percent of men and 10 percent of women have cheated on their spouses during the marriage. Adultery can be a factor in your divorce and Texas laws on divorce and adultery can help you know what steps to take if you find yourself in a situation where your marriage is ending because of adultery.

Understanding Adultery In Texas

Texas Divorce Laws

According to Texas Family law, “adultery” is when an individual who is married voluntarily has sexual intercourse with a person who is not their spouse. Adultery is one of the “fault” grounds for why a divorce may be granted.  In Texas, a divorce is typically granted on the grounds of insupportability because of a discord or conflict of the personalities of the parties. To be granted a divorce on the grounds of adultery, the spouse that was cheated on must prove that adultery actually occurred.

You can prove adultery:

  • By showing that the adultery happened during the marriage, which is more relevant if it occurred before the petition for divorce was filed and after the parties physically separate;
  • Producing documents, texts, print, social media, emails, photos, or documents that prove adultery.

The significance of proving adultery varies greatly depending on the county in which your divorce is filed.  In Travis County, adultery is not as significant of a factor as it may be in other counties, such as a Williamson County, Texas divorce or a Hay County, Texas divorce.  Adultery can be established by using circumstantial evidence or by asking interrogatories to your spouse as part of the discovery process.   Oftentimes in a divorce, a party wants to know about adultery in order to gain closure and to understand the reasons why the marriage ended.

Can You Sue Someone For Adultery In Texas?

Divorce In Texas Adultery

Texas Adultery LawYou cannot sue someone, the paramour, for adultery because adultery is not illegal in Texas. However, adultery can impact the divorce court’s decision on property division and can be grounds for requesting a disproportionate share of the community estate. The innocent spouse may get a bigger or disproportionate percentage of the community estate.  It may also affect decisions on spousal maintenance (alimony) and can have influences on child custody.

How Infidelity Affects Child Custody in Texas?

How Does Adultery Affect Divorce In Texas

For an affair to determine the decision of the judge with regard to conservatorship decisions, the following are relevant:

  • The cheating parent prioritizes their new relationship over the between that parent and their child;
  • The new partner introduced to the child threatened the child’s security;
  • The child was not introduced to the new partner properly or too early;
  • The infidelity happened in front of the child causing the child to feel pain or embarrassment.

Adultery and Spousal Maintenance or Alimony In Texas

What Is The Penalty For Adultery In Texas

Alimony in Texas is called spousal maintenance.  The spouse requesting spousal maintenance must establish that he or she is unable to earn enough income to cover their basic needs and that they also lack sufficient property awarded to him or her during the divorce, including the spouse’s separate property, to provide for their minimum reasonable needs. Texas courts can also award spousal maintenance or alimony if at least one of the following scenarios is true:

  • The paying spouse was convicted of or received deferred adjudication for a criminal office or a family violence crime against the other spouse or the other spouse’s child that happened no more than two years before the divorce petition was filed;
  • The spouse requesting alimony has a physical or mental disability that prevents them from earning enough to cover their basic needs;
  • The marriage lasted not less than 10 years and the spouse requesting for alimony is actually trying to earn enough to cover their basic needs, or they are developing skills to enable them to earn enough to cover their basic needs; or
  • The requesting spouse has child custody of a minor or adult child that has a disability.

If the requesting spouse is eligible for spousal maintenance, the judge will look at other factors such as the incomes of each spouse, the age of the requesting spouse, and additional factors to determine the amount and duration of the alimony.

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Texas Adultery Law Attorneys Office Directions

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