Adultery and Divorce
In many cases, a married couple may simply agree that they no longer want to live together, which allows for a relatively amicable divorce. In some instances, however, a divorce will result from one spouse’s extramarital affair. Adultery may not only cause irreparable damage to a marriage but also affect the rights of the adulterous spouse in the divorce process. If you are contemplating a divorce, it is important to know how any extramarital relationships may affect your rights and obligations. The knowledgeable Dallas divorce lawyers at the McClure Law Group are skilled in handling contentious cases involving adultery and divorce. We can assist you in pursuing a favorable outcome under the unique facts of your case.The Adultery Ground for Divorce
In Texas, a party seeking a divorce can petition the court for a no-fault or fault-based divorce. In a no-fault divorce, the petitioner merely alleges that the marriage is no longer supportable due to personality conflicts or discord, and there is no reasonable hope of reconciliation. If the petitioner files for a no-fault divorce, the court will then grant a divorce without regard to fault.
Although a party seeking a divorce may choose to file a no-fault petition regardless of the actual reason why he or she is filing for the divorce, in many cases in which a person is seeking a divorce due to his or her spouse’s extramarital affair, the party will seek a divorce on the ground of adultery. The court may then grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if it finds that the other spouse committed adultery.
A person seeking a divorce on the ground of adultery must show that his or her spouse had voluntary sexual intercourse with another person during the course of the marriage. It is also worth noting that since Texas does not recognize legal separation, adultery can occur even if the parties are no longer cohabitating.
A person alleging adultery will typically introduce evidence of communications between the adulterous spouse and the person with whom he or she had an affair, credit card and bank statements that indicate money spent during the affair, and surveillance footage or photos showing evidence of the affair. If you believe that your spouse conducted an extramarital affair, an experienced divorce lawyer can analyze the facts of your case to determine the most appropriate manner of proceeding with your divorce. Your attorney can collect evidence that you may need to prove your spouse’s fault in the demise of your marriage.Effect of Adultery on Property Division and Maintenance
In Texas, any property that either spouse acquires during the marriage is presumed to be the property of both spouses. During a divorce, any community property is subject to equitable distribution, which does not mean that it must be divided equally. Instead, the court must divide the property in a manner that it deems just with regard to the rights of each party and any children born of the marriage. Thus, the court may consider whether one party engaged in adultery and award his or her spouse a greater share of the community property as a result.
Adultery and divorce can affect a claim for spousal maintenance as well. Under Texas law, a claim for maintenance will only be granted in certain circumstances, such as if the parties have been married for more than 10 years and one spouse is unable to earn an income. While adultery does not constitute an independent basis for maintenance, it is a factor that Texas courts can consider in determining the amount of maintenance that is appropriate.Meet with an Assertive Dallas Attorney to Discuss Your Case
Coming to terms with the end of a marriage is never easy, but when a marriage ends due to adultery, it can cause extreme discord and may lead to protracted litigation. This makes it vital to retain a divorce attorney who will fight to protect your rights and assets. The family law attorneys at the McClure Law Group are experienced in handling fault-based divorces, including cases involving adultery, and we will work tirelessly to help you seek a fair result under the facts of your case. We have an office in Dallas or are available by appointment at our office in Plano. We regularly represent people in divorce actions in Dallas, Fort Worth, Garland, Irving, Richardson, McKinney, Frisco, and Rockwall, as well as other cities in Dallas, Collin, Grayson, Denton, Tarrant, and Rockwall Counties. You can reach us through our online form or at 214.692.8200 to schedule a consultation regarding your case.