Marriage is a form of a legally binding contract between two people. As such, there may be legal implications if either spouse breaches the terms of that agreement. One example of a breach of a marriage contract is adultery. While infidelity is not a crime, it is one of the grounds on which a spouse can seek divorce. If your spouse had an extramarital affair, contact an Austin adultery divorce lawyer to explore your options for marriage dissolution. Our compassionate attorneys understand the emotional toll these divorces can have on individuals, and we want to use our experience to help you through this challenging time.
Filing for a Divorce Based on Adultery in Austin
In general, state law allows for no-fault divorces, meaning a couple may choose to file for marriage dissolution regardless of whether one spouse is to blame for the end of their relationship or not. If one spouse claims that the actions of the other were the direct reason that the marriage broke down, they can seek a fault-based divorce in Texas under some circumstances. Adultery is one of the reasons why someone may file for a fault-based divorce. In these cases, a court may grant the divorce even if one party does not want it.
Under Texas Family Code §6.003, adultery may become the underlying basis for a divorce. In these cases, the burden of proving that adultery occurred remains with the spouse who was cheated on. If the spouse accused of adultery denies the allegation, the filing party is responsible for proving by a preponderance of the evidence that their spouse engaged in an extramarital affair. Photographs, text messages, credit card statements, and social media posts may all be valuable pieces of circumstantial or direct evidence in these divorce cases. An Austin lawyer who has experience handling adultery divorce cases could help a spouse gather evidence that supports these allegations.
Unique Circumstances of a Divorce Caused by an Extramarital Affair
Infidelity may play a significant role in how a court will divide the marital assets and make other decisions with regard to the dissolution of the marriage. For instance, when adultery is the proximate cause for the marriage’s end, the spouse who was cheated on may seek a larger percentage of the couples’ shared assets to compensate for the suffering the adulterer caused. A spouse who was cheated on may be entitled to:
- More than 50 percent of any retirement accounts or other community property
- Reduced responsibility for community debt
- Increased spousal support or alimony
- Compensation for community resources that the adulterer spent in pursuit of their affair
A lawyer in Austin could review an adultery divorce case and determine if a spouse who was cheated on might be entitled to certain parts of the marital estate.
Speak with an Austin Adultery Divorce Attorney
When your spouse cheats and you face the prospect of divorce, many important issues may arise. Hiring an Austin adultery divorce lawyer could improve your chances of protecting your interests in the final court decree. Our team is here to guide you through this emotional and tumultuous time. Do not go through this process alone. Call today to discuss your marriage dissolution case.