A Quick Guide to Divorce

Adultery and Alimony in Texas

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Adultery is one of the factors behind couples filing for divorce in Texas. Married couples experiencing adultery are most likely to separate at some stage of their lives. In cases where adultery causes divorce of a couple, there is a strict need to define the rights and responsibilities of the parties involved, especially those pertaining to financial matters.

One can file for divorce based on adultery in Texas. Adultery can affect the decision of financial issues in a Texas court such as alimony and property division. It is defined by Texas Law as having been deliberately involved in a sexual relationship with somebody who is not your spouse. While filing for a divorce resting on adultery, it is crucial to produce a proof of the affair, which could be anything from phone records and emails to photos and videos, in the court.

Generally, courts in Texas grant alimony to the candidate who does not have enough financial resources to support himself/herself and whose ability to earn has been damaged during all those years of the marriage. Alimony is granted if:

  • the spouse applying for alimony cannot earn because he/she has to look after a minor child
  • or because he/she has some kind of disability that blur his/her chances of earning money
  • or domestic violence has been committed against him/her by the other spouse in two years prior divorce
  • or one spouse cannot earn adequate amount to bear the expenses after their being married for ten years.

Alimony cannot be granted if none of the aforementioned circumstances hold true. Judges have to take certain factors into account before deciding the figure and span of the alimony. These include:

  • duration of the marriage
  • qualification, age, health, employment potential of both the spouses
  • misdemeanor by each spouse including adultery and domestic violence
  • monetary dealings of a spouse affecting marriage
  • the capability to fulfill one’s needs unaided
  • child support that has to be paid by each spouse
  • involvement of one spouse in household affairs

Some limitations regarding alimony are that it has to be within the limit of $5000 or 20% of the total monthly income of the person paying it; the lower figure of the two is awarded. It varies from case to case and is subject to change.

In Texas, adultery is considered an important factor in deciding alimony even if it occurs after the two have parted ways. Both the spouses’ adultery can affect the alimony. The alimony seeker might be denied the right if he/she has committed adultery. The adultery of the person from whom alimony is demanded is also taken into consideration by courts.

Apart from alimony, adultery impacts property distribution in which case the money spent on affairs will also be paid regard to. One who cheated on the other might receive a lesser chunk of the property or funds the couple own. However, decisions about child custody and visitation are not affected by adultery except indirectly such as involving negligence towards the child on part of one of the parents.

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Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas.

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