Does Cheating Affect Alimony in TX?
Cheating is a common reason for spouses to divorce. It’s a violation of trust and often shows that a marriage has broken down beyond repair. Understandably, many divorces that involve cheating become extremely contentious and bitter, making it difficult to come to a settlement agreement, especially when it comes to alimony (spousal support).
If your spouse has cheated on you, how does that affect the divorce proceedings? Will adultery factor into divorce settlement decisions such as alimony in Texas? Here’s what you need to know.
Who Qualifies for Alimony in Texas?
Texas has very specific requirements for alimony. The court will only award alimony in the following situations:
- The couple has been married for at least 10 years, and one spouse cannot support themselves on their own
- The court finds that the paying spouse committed domestic violence (must be within 2 years of the divorce)
- One spouse has a disability that prevents them from supporting themselves
- One spouse is caring for a child with a disability, preventing them from supporting themselves
If alimony applies in a divorce case, the court will decide on a monthly amount that is fair, based on a number of factors, including income. Alimony cannot exceed $5000 per month in Texas, regardless of the paying spouse’s income. It will also not exceed 20% of the paying spouse’s income.
Will Adultery Affect Alimony?
Most divorces today are “no-fault.” This means that the couple is agreeing to divorce, and there is no specific reason given for the breakdown of the marriage. However, Texas does allow people to file for a fault divorce, which simply means one spouse alleges that the other spouse is at fault for the need to divorce.
A fault divorce on the grounds of adultery could affect a spouse’s eligibility for alimony in Texas or factor into the alimony award amount, whether the paying spouse or the receiving spouse cheated. However, the basic requirements of alimony might mean that it was not a factor in the divorce in the first place. It’s also important to realize that you will have to prove infidelity occurred to successfully petition for a fault divorce.
How Can I Prove Adultery?
If your spouse cheated on you and you are considering a fault divorce, you will need to have proof. It’s a good idea to find a lawyer who can help you decide how to proceed and find strong evidence you can present to the court.
The divorce process can be confusing, frustrating, and overwhelming, especially when cheating is involved. Working with a lawyer will help you protect your rights and assets throughout the process. To speak with an experienced lawyer in Texas, call our San Antonio law office today at (210) 953-7486.