May 22, 2023

What Happens If Your Wife Cheats On You And Is Spending Community Money On The Other Person?

Betrayal of trust through infidelity is one of the major causes of marital breakdown and divorce. Though counseling and spending time together might help save some marriages after cheating has occurred, others cannot make it through such a situation. 

Consequently, in some cases, filing for divorce is the most reasonable decision. When dealing with the repercussions of adultery, it is paramount to consider how it will influence asset division. 

Proper legal representation can be beneficial during a difficult situation like a divorce involving adultery. A reliable divorce attorney can take you through the process and help you make informed decisions.

In Texas, the division of assets in a divorce is often determined by the spouse who committed adultery. Depending on the situation, this could lead to either partner having an advantage or disadvantage during proceedings.

It's critical to become familiar with the Texas divorce laws related to adultery if your marriage has been affected by infidelity. Knowledge of the legalities can help ensure an equitable outcome for all involved. 

Alimony, property division, and other issues related to a divorce can be incredibly tricky to navigate. Texas residents dealing with adultery should take the time to educate themselves on the state's relevant divorce laws, as this could help ensure they get a favorable resolution. A Houston divorce lawyer can help you through the process.

Does Adultery Affect Community Property in Texas?

Cheating on a spouse can significantly impact the proceedings of a divorce case. Texas is one of the few states where adultery could be considered while deciding the divorce settlement terms.

Cheating Wife

In Texas, courts consider any marital misconduct, including infidelity, when dividing a divorcing couple's estate. The injured partner usually cites fault grounds for divorce, like adultery, to get a more significant share from the community estate.

What is Considered Adultery in Texas?

Texas law (Family Code § 6.003) defines adultery as any voluntary sexual activity between a married person and someone who isn't their partner. Despite this, Texas court systems may still require concrete evidence of adultery to accept it as a reason for a divorce. This evidence must demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that adultery took place. 

To prove adultery, there needs to be tangible and convincing evidence. A suggestion or feeling that the other spouse is unfaithful won't prove infidelity. In such cases, you may use documents, emails, texts, information from social media platforms, or photos as acceptable evidence.

How Does Adultery Affect Divorce in Texas?

Adultery is not explicitly banned in Texas, but it can still affect a divorce regarding the division of assets, alimony payments, and deciding who gets custody of the children. 

However, adultery is not considered a criminal offense in Texas; the court factors in any marital misconduct exhibited by either party when making their decisions. Generally, the wronged spouse will cite grounds for divorce, like adultery, to receive a more equitable division of the marital assets.

Courts generally provide the non-cheating spouse with a higher degree of marital property share to compensate them for their spouse's wrongdoings. The financial implications can be severe when a cheating partner uses community funds to continue their affair. 

If the divorce is due to infidelity, this factor also plays a vital role in deciding the amount of money to be paid out. Texas laws relating to adultery do not affect two areas:

  • Granting a spouse alimony eligibility
  • Making modifications to child custody and child support arrangements

While infidelity is not desirable, it may not indicate poor parenting skills. It may be less than ideal, but it doesn't necessarily disqualify someone from being a parent.

Texas follows a "community property" doctrine which means that, whenever applicable, the court divides the marital assets fairly among spouses. This typically results in a 50/50 split between them. 

In cases of adultery, a court may make an unequal division of the property to give more significant benefits to the spouse that was wronged. This could mean awarding them more than half of the assets. It is not uncommon for a marital breakdown to be attributed to an affair, especially when community funds were misused to fuel it. In such cases, the unfaithful spouse may be held responsible for the dissolution of the marriage.

Does Adultery Affect Property Distribution in Texas?

In Texas, when it comes to divorces where adultery is present, the court may consider that when dividing the property and debt between the spouses. This means the innocent spouse can receive a larger portion of community property and assign more financial responsibility to the unfaithful partner.

All assets acquired by either spouse during their marriage are presumed to be community or marital property in Texas, including all assets, regardless of who officially owns it. Generally, the community property may include personal property, shared bank accounts, and any other asset acquired during the marriage. It is also important to note that all financial debt taken up during the marriage is presumed to be the responsibility of both parties.

Texas courts have the authority to fairly and equitably divide assets in divorce cases, where one party may receive a higher or lower percentage of the marital estate. Divorce proceedings typically involve a fair and even division of assets, but it can be unequal if one party has evidence that community funds have been misused. Suspicion of infidelity requires proof of money spent during the affair for uneven asset distribution, ensuring fairness and protecting everyone's interests.

When allocating the community estate due to a divorce, it is unfair to use fault, such as adultery, to punish one of the spouses. Accordingly, it should not be used for that purpose. A court needs to consider what an innocent spouse would have gained from the marriage if it had lasted (such as access to the property, income, insurance benefits, and so on). This should be taken into account when making decisions.

Cheating spouses often waste community assets, resulting in a more significant property award to the innocent partner regarding the division. In instances of marital infidelity, a party can provide evidence of the misuse of community property money on gifts, vacations, food, and other items by the cheating spouse as proof of waste. Such evidence can be used to challenge their claims in court. Should there be signs of a partner being unfaithful, then they may not receive such a large portion of the joint estate.

Texas Divorce Attorneys

If you are in a marriage where infidelity is suspected, and you plan to file for divorce, it's best to consult a Texas divorce lawyer. An experienced legal professional can provide insight into how an extramarital affair could affect your case.

At Rose Sanders Law Firm, PLLC, we recognize that divorce is a challenging emotional experience and strive to provide personalized service tailored to the needs of every client. Looking for an understanding advisor to map out a plan that leads to the fair settlement you deserve? Our team is here for you and offers evaluations – reach out today!

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