In Texas, the law allows fault-based divorce when one spouse has proof of adultery or another infraction that the other spouse committed. The court may consider these transgressions in both spousal support and property division.
Whether you plan to seek a fault-based divorce or believe that your spouse may do so, learn how these cases work under Texas statutes.
Property division and fault-based divorce
Community property includes any assets either person earned or received during the marriage. In cases involving adultery or other types of fault, the judge may award the injured spouse a larger share of the couple’s community property. This arrangement often occurs when a person spent marital resources on extramarital affairs, addictions or illegal activities.
Spousal support considerations
Alimony is only available in Texas when:
- One spouse has a history of domestic violence in the past two years.
- The marriage lasted longer than 10 years and one spouse is not financially self-sufficient.
- One spouse has a debilitating physical or mental health issues that prevent him or her from working
- One spouse stays home from work to care for a child with special health needs.
Even in these cases, however, a person cannot receive alimony if he or she had an affair. When the person who did not have an affair requests alimony, the judge may consider this information when determining spousal support. In general, alimony payments can be up to 20% of the person’s income or $5,000 per month (whichever amount is less).
Child custody in a fault-based divorce
Some grounds for divorce, such as family abandonment, substance use or criminal activity, can impact child custody decisions. However, infidelity only impacts custody when these actions affect a person’s ability to parent.
Regardless of the type of fault involved at the end of your marriage, you must provide proof to the court when you ask for a fault-based divorce. This could include emails, phone records, photos, correspondence and other forms of relevant evidence.