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Alienation of Affection: Can I File a Lawsuit against My Spouse’s Lover in Texas?

A divorce is usually caused by one spouse committing adultery. It causes emotional betrayal and a breakage of trust that pushes the other spouse to resort to divorce. It happens. That’s not necessarily a good thing. But it’s also not unique to your case and therefore, has a tried and tested solution: divorce. However, sometimes that’s not enough and you might find yourself asking if you can sue your spouse’s concubine as well. 

Alienation of Affection

In the State of Texas, the answer is quick and simple – you can’t. It is written in the Texas Family Code Section 1.107. You cannot sue the third party that caused harm to your marriage for alienation of affection. There is, however, a loophole. 

Your spouse’s adulterous act is Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress. It is a valid basis for a lawsuit. The conduct of the third party must be shown as calculated and actually caused severe emotional distress. It can be pretty hard to substantiate. So if you know in yourself that you don’t have substantial evidence, this may be a hard road to take.

An Ace in Your Divorce

Although adultery is not a basis for a lawsuit, it can affect the division of community property during divorce. Because your spouse and his or her lover are at fault, the court may favor your side.

Adultery is a big factor in the decision-making process of the court when it comes to divorce and property division. The court justifies on the assumption that the cheating spouse probably used the community property to finance his adulterous acts. Therefore, he should end up with less.

A disproportionately bigger share in the community property may not eradicate the pain of a spouse’s betrayal. It neither disqualifies the lover of any fault. But, it gives ample room to navigate the road to moving on without worrying about money. 

It’s not exactly revenge, per se. However, it’s the closest thing you can get to avenge your fallen marriage without taking the law into your own hands. So before you do anything rash to implicate yourself, think twice and consult a lawyer. There are legal ways to get back at your lying, cheating spouse.

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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. If you have any questions you can contact him at

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