It is a sad but frequent occurrence for clients of the Law Office of Bryan Fagan that they have become aware that their spouse is having an affair. For most people this is the highest form of betrayal and something deeply offensive to their sensibilities. After seeking information on how to divorce their spouse it's not uncommon for the question of whether or not it's possible to sue their spouse's paramour to arise.
No Alienation of Affection Lawsuits in Texas
The short answer is, at least in the great state of Texas, no. The Texas Family Code has a specific provision (T.F.C. section 1.107 to be exact) that states that Texas residents do not have a right of action against a third party for what's called "alienation of affection". This is lawyer talk which tells us that if you are a Texas citizen you cannot file a lawsuit against the "other" man/woman for harming the marriage relationship or for upsetting you emotionally.
To delve a little deeper into the subject, there are people that would argue that a claim could be asserted against your spouse's lover for Intentional Inflection of Emotional Distress- a tort claim. While this is a valid basis of a lawsuit in Texas, a person must show that:
- the conduct of the other person was calculated to have and
- actually did cause you severe emotional distress.
This is a tough standard to meet.
A Disproportionate Share of Community Property
You may be asking at this point: where's the justice? Where's the fairness? Well, you will be happy to learn that although Texas doesn’t recognize alienation of affection claims, fault in the break up of the marriage can play a role in dividing the community estate. a court can award the "wronged" spouse a disproportionate (read, more than 50%) share of the community estate based on the philandering conduct of the cheating spouse.
Adultery is commonly a factor judges consider when making the just and right division of the community estate. The justification here is that the cheating spouse most certainly used money that was community income to drive out to see their girl/boyfriend, bought them gifts using community income or various other expenditures that are not highly thought of by judges.
If you've been on the wrong end of an extra marital affair and want to learn about your legal remedies, the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan are here to help you with a free consultation. Contact our office today in order to learn more about how we can assist you in this difficult time.
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Other Articles you may be interested in:
- Is Adultery a Crime in Texas?
- When is, Cheating Considered Adultery in a Texas Divorce?
- Sex, Lies, Rock-and-roll, and Adultery in a Texas Divorce
- Can I Sue My Spouse for Mental Abuse in My Texas Divorce?
- My Spouse Has Accused Me of Adultery in my Texas Divorce and I Haven't
- 6 things You Need to Know Before You File for Divorce in Texas
- Texas Divorce Morality Clause: Be Careful What You Ask For
- What does Insupportability or No-Fault in a Texas Divorce Mean?
- The Simplified Process for an Uncontested Divorce in Texas
- Explaining the Contested Divorce Process in Texas
Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Houston, Texas Divorce Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it's important to speak with one of our Houston, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
Our divorce lawyers in Houston TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan handles divorce cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, Houston, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.