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How Does Adultery Affect Alimony in Texas?

Adultery is one of the most common reasons for divorce. For many married individuals, it is a deal-breaker as it reeks of betrayal. 

Adultery as a Ground for Divorce

While it is often met with anger and condemnation, adultery is not considered a crime in Texas law. There is no direct penalty for any spouse who commits adultery. However, it can be one of the grounds for divorce. 

In the state of Texas, there are two kinds of divorce. The first one is a “no-fault” divorce. This is where both parties agree to separate. There is no need to find fault or disparage the other party. Nor is there a need to justify their decision. 

However, if you want a divorce and your spouse resists, you can file based on grounds accepted by the court. Adultery is one of them.

Alimony and Adultery

Adultery is legally defined as voluntary or willful intercourse of a spouse with a person who is not the husband/wife. If you will file the divorce based on these grounds, there has to be acceptable proof. 

If the court finds the proof acceptable, the divorce proceedings will commence. It is often noticed that adultery will be a factor throughout the course of the trial. When a judge decides on temporary custody and property division, he can consider one party “at fault”.

Requirements for Spousal Maintenance

Alimony or Spousal maintenance is given by Texas courts to a spouse who is incapable of meeting his/her personal needs. The state has certain conditions before awarding alimony. While adultery is not one of them, there are some judges who may consider it when they make their decision. 

Even if the marriage lasted more than 10 years, a judge may deny alimony if the requesting spouse committed adultery. On the other hand, the judge may also rule in favor of alimony despite the adulterous acts. It all depends on the circumstances of the case taken as a whole. 

Adultery may also be a reason for losing the security of income by the other spouse. Therefore, it can be a reason to grant alimony to the innocent spouse.

There is no clear-cut rule on how adultery directly affects alimony. It is best to contact a lawyer and discuss your case.

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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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