Adultery - Affair
- Extramarital Relationship and Divorce. In recent times more
and more of our clients are having to deal with this issue
through their divorce. This page and its' daughter pages
were placed within this site in order to get you the
information that you need with regards to adulterous affairs
during a divorce.
and Facts on Divorce and Adultery
1) Adultery, pursuant to the
Texas Family Code, is a cause and basis for divorce in
Texas. It does have an impact upon property division. It is
not a basis, however, for the award of child custody.
2) Adultery is not illegal in
the sense that it is not a crime against the laws of the
State of Texas. Neither you nor your spouse goes to jail
because one of you had an extramarital affair. In that same
regard, you cannot sue the person who enticed the spouse.
There is no alienation of affection in Texas.
3) Adultery is an act of
betrayal against a spouse. As such, it will cause untold
hurt, pain and anger. Anger will cause the innocent spouse
to do all that she or he can do to inflict pain upon the
adulterer in a divorce proceeding.
4) If you are involved
in an affair, assume that you spouse will figure it out. He
or she will pick up your telephone and review the text
messages. He or she will, look under the seat of your
car for that 7-11 prepaid telephone (one of our clients was
sitting in his wife's car when the prepaid phone rang).
He or she will review credit card statements and stumble
upon the Victoria Secretes and the florist.
5) Each Court's approach to
adultery is completely different depending upon the
temperament of the judge, and the county in which the
divorce is proceeding. The following bullet points describe
possible scenarios - Judge Apple, Judge Ball and Judge Candy
Judge Apple does not care about an
adultery issue because that which caused the adultery
also caused the divorce. In other words, these people
were not getting along (discord and conflict within the
marriage) causes both adultery (one spouse seeks the
companionship of another) and divorce (one spouse seeks
out a lawyer).
Judge Ball hates adulterers, hates what
it does to a marriage, and will immediately remove a
child from the adulterer without further ado. In Collin
County, there were a couple of judges, not on the bench
anymore, who followed this line.
Judge Candy takes a middle ground
approach. She wants to know what the status of the
marriage was prior to the adultery, whether the parties
were separated (separate homes or bedrooms), and whether
the adultery is the cause of the breakup of the
marriage. If the adultery occurred sometime after
separation, or during the divorce, she will not give
much weight to it. If the adultery is the cause of the
divorce, in other words the parties were happily married
and had great plans prior to entry of the outside party,
then she will attribute fault and rule in accordance.
our experience, most judges fall into the Judge Candy
category. That is, if marital discord and conflict was the
status quo prior to the affair, then not a whole lot of
weight will be given to it - especially, if the parties are
separated and living apart prior to initiation of divorce
proceedings. If all was well with the marriage but the
adultery caused the marital discord and conflict, the judge
will give great weight to it. They will protect the innocent
Adultery in the custody context: In accordance with
the case law, the fact that one spouse cheated on another
should not be considered in the custody determination.
However, if adultery is an issue, the cheating spouse can be in jeopardy. If a parent brings their nonmarital partner
into the lives of the children such that they know and are
aware that one parent and a third party are lovers then that
parent has risked possession and custody of the children. If
the paramour is spending the night while the children are
present, or if the children are being dropped off at a
friend's home while the parent goes out, then facts such as
these will have an impact upon the child custody
you have a third party relationship, don't bring that person
into the children's lives until your relationship is well
established and the divorce is concluded. The best
advice, if you are in a child custody case drop the lover
until the case is concluded.
Adultery Offense and Defense in a Divorce
Innocent Spouse: Get all the
information that you can from e-mails, correspondence,
credit card statements, long-distance bills, mobile phone,
and voice mail. Be aware of criminal penalties associated
with wiretapping, including unlawful interception of e-mail,
and breach of computer security.
Adulterer Spouse: Protect
your communications. Spouses will get passwords, will view
accounts electronically, will find out all that they need to
know. Don't be stupid. Don't assume anything. See above and
below. Drop the lover.
1) E-Mails. If you are an
innocent spouse, get all the e-mails (print them out) that
you can between your spouse and the paramour. Conversely, if
you are the adulterer, change e-mail accounts immediately.
Your spouse will find them. Furthermore, do not save e-mails
on the hard-drive of your work or personal PC. They can and
will be subpoenaed. Case in point, spouse knew social
security number and credit card number, she was able to con
America Online into providing her the password to husbands
account. Wife left Outlook up and running,
paramour's emails were automatically downloaded for the
world to look at.
2) Voice Mail. If you are the
innocent spouse, save and record all voice mail between the
lovers. Do not intercept electronic communications.
Conversely, if you are the adulterer do not leave voice
messages. Spouse will find them.
3) Credit Card Statements. If
you are the innocent spouse, examine and obtain all credit
card statements. Look for gift items (Victoria's Secrete),
motel rooms, travel, and floral shops. One spouse sends to
the paramour the "I love you more than anything" message
with roses. Spouse got a copy, had it, used it. Conversely,
if you are the innocent spouse, don't use the credit cards
including company credit cards to make purchases for the
girl or boyfriend.
Divorce & Adultery Information