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Adultery’s Effects on Texas Alimony

 Posted on October 13, 2023 in Divorce

Galveston County divorce lawyerAn extramarital affair can have a serious effect on spousal maintenance in the state of Texas. What role adultery plays in determining alimony payments includes many factors that a judge will consider.

Texas recognizes both fault-based and no-fault divorces. To better understand the intricacies of how adultery factors into alimony, it is best to consult an attorney experienced in family and divorce law.

What is Adultery According to Texas Courts?

Texas finds the act of adultery as a fault-based ground for divorce. So, any married person who voluntarily has sexual intercourse with someone they are not married to is considered adultery. This law extends to both spouses even after a separation (not a divorce) has taken place. A spouse accusing the other of an extramarital affair will need to provide ample proof in court to support any claim for alimony.

How Does Adultery Affect Spousal Maintenance?

Texas only allows alimony in very limited situations and circumstances. Cheating spouses are less likely to receive spousal maintenance ordered by the court or else receive a reduced amount. However, if the court chooses, an innocent spouse seeking maintenance may see adultery used in their favor. The court will consider how the adultery impacted the innocent spouse’s financial circumstances when making their decision.

A judge may disregard alimony if the requesting spouse lacks the eligibility for maintenance. This eligibility is referred to as “minimum reasonable needs” and encompasses a spouse’s current expenses. Expenses like groceries, mortgage payments, and utilities are factored into a judge’s decision on determining if reasonable needs are being met. Spousal maintenance in this regard is only meant as a temporary measure to get the spouse to a point where they can become self-sustaining.

Some of the other factors that will also come into play include:

  • Domestic violence involving the supporting spouse against the other spouse and their children
  • The duration of the marriage was ten years or more, and the requesting spouse is unable to earn enough to meet minimum reasonable needs because they lack the skills to do so
  • The duration of the marriage was ten years or more, and the requesting spouse is unable to earn enough to meet minimum reasonable needs because they have a disability that requires serious care

Contact a Galveston County, TX Divorce Attorney

Adultery is not considered a crime in Texas. However, it can have adverse effects on spousal maintenance. You will need evidence to prove your claims and the support of a Galveston, TX divorce attorney. The office of Daniel R. Bacalis, P.C. provides compassionate legal advice and representation to anyone undergoing divorce proceedings brought on by the act of infidelity. Contact the office at 409-392-1511 to discuss your case in a free consultation.

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