As a Houston, Texas divorce lawyer many of I get to hear about adultery frequently as topic from our clients. This despite Texas being a no fault divorce state which means if a spouse wants a divorce, the other spouse is not required to have committed a bad act or "fault."
Why does Adultery Matter in a Texas Divorce?
Sometimes my clients want to know, “is it necessary to plead a fault in a divorce if they can be granted a divorce on the ground of insupportability?” The answer it is not necessary to plead fault in order to be granted a divorce.
The next question is then, “why would someone wanted to plead adultery under section 6.003 of the Texas Family Code in a divorce?” Generally, the big reason for pleading fault in a Texas Divorce is that if a party to a divorce is able to prove fault on a ground such as adultery is it may have an impact on dividing the marital estate. In other words, the divorce court may give the party who is not at fault more of the marital property. In most cases that is why a party will plead adultery in a divorce case is to ask the Court to divide the marital estate disproportionately.
Many of my clients are surprised that the divorce courts often take a "so what" approach regarding adultery and it generally has a minor impact on the remainder of the divorce proceeding. Courts will pay closer attention if there have been adulterous acts committed in front of children of the marriage.
Amount and Duration of Spousal Support
However, if a spouse is eligible under the law to receive spousal support under Texas Law and a Judge is inclined to award spousal support then a Judge may consider marital fault when awarding the amount and duration of spousal support in the divorce.
Proving Adultery in a Texas Divorce
The Texas Family Code Under the adultery fault ground found in the Texas Family Code Section 6.003. In order to prove Adultery in divorce direct or circumstantial evidence. However, the burden of proving adultery is clear and convincing which is less then beyond a reasonable doubt in criminal case.
It is Still Adultery even if you are Separated
Acts of adultery committed after a separation are still relevant and can be used to prove adultery under Family Code Section 6.003.
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