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Cheating Spouse

Using Infidelity as Leverage in Divorce: Proving Fault Grounds in Texas

Texas is a no-fault divorce state where you do not need to prove fault to get a divorce. Using infidelity as leverage in divorce is an option. The Court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if the other spouse has committed adultery. The no-fault ground for divorce is “irreconcilable differences” or an “Irreparable breakdown of the marriage.” The question your divorce lawyer asks is whether it is worth spending the time and money proving infidelity as a fault-based ground for divorce. For some people, the cheating is so bad that they end up being appointed a greater share of the community marital estate, among other elements of relief the parties may seek from the Court. Whether people like it or not, the Texas legislature gives us a legal pathway for using infidelity as leverage in a divorce. There are times adults decide they want to make the other pay for their dirty deeds and that can include exposing them publicly, before the Court of public opinion in addition to their local District Court. And while the parties to the cause may not be the ones spilling the tea, you know it goes on...whisper, whisper. 

What happens when the shoe is on the other foot? What happens when you are the spouse being accused of infidelity and must prove innocence and establish the plot to sabotage you? And that might be the game plan of a narcissist spouse frequently gaslighting the other and highlighting endless examples of parental alienation to boot. Southlake-based Barrows Firm attorneys are well-experienced in defending sane people accused of insane conduct, and yes it happens more often than many would expect. 

Barrows Firm Blog: Preparing for Court and Making a Good Impression

Divorce litigation strategy in proving infidelity can be a challenge. What matters is more than what you know, it’s what you can prove. Depending on the situation there are plenty of directions to approach how you make and prove your case asking for a divorce on fault grounds of infidelity, and being awarded a greater share of the marital estate, including money, property, and how you can proceed in litigation. 

When to Plead No Fault Divorce, When to Plead Fault and Send It 

We only get one chance to raise our children and give them the best chances at creating their best lives, and that means sometimes mom or dad needs to prepare and wear their suit of courage. The children are never supposed to know what is going on and that is also a legal requirement in the Standing Orders used by the Courts. However, even though we don’t say a word, children are smart and they can read us better than we admit. How strong you are and how resilient you can present yourself under the toughest of circumstances is a personally answered question.

Going to war is brutal and divorces get ugly when acrimony is fired from a high-pressured hose. Be prepared that the opponent may have more and different ammunition than expected. The element of surprise can be tricky. Going forward, using infidelity as leverage in divorce requires an emotional commitment and a plan for how to handle surprises as they may come. 

Focus on Kids with Psychology Today: An Essential Tool to Protect Kids From Conflict in a Divorce

Proving Adultery with Your Best Private Investigator and the Weight of Testimonial Evidence 

People who know they are going to file for divorce often start collecting evidence well in advance of filing and serving their spouse. Some come to their initial meeting with their divorce lawyer and already have a retained investigator and what they believe is evidence of infidelity. 

HG.org Legal Resources Article: The Ins and Outs of Hiring a Private Investigator in a Divorce Case

Caution to anyone engaged in having another person tailed and investigated on their own and without the advice of an attorney and in the course of a properly managed divorce and or child custody suit. Any would-be evidence that is illegally obtained can be limited from being used in court. 

Private legal investigators should be licensed and well-credentialed to ensure the quality of the process of the investigation as well as the reporting of findings to the Court so that evidence may be offered for admittance. The investigator might be busy interviewing potential witnesses and people with personal knowledge of facts and occurrences in the case. 

DO NOT DO THIS: Learn How to Avoid Destruction of Evidence Problems! 

Read Our Article: Computers, Hard Drives, and Technology Issues in Texas Divorce

Technology has come a long way in helping jilted spouses prove their spouses are cheating. Something as simple as the car insurance app on the phone mapping every drive and location can land a spouse in hot water in a messy divorce. We leave a footprint all over our digital apps and services, including our social media. Once a divorce case is filed the parties are instructed to observe Standing Orders to not disturb any property or accounts while the divorce is pending, and that includes social media accounts which may contain all kinds of surprises. Deleting content and social media accounts can get you in trouble with the Court and could result in sanctions for the destruction of evidence. 

Credibility is important in a Texas divorce, and once your credibility is damaged, it can be difficult to rehabilitate. Nothing makes someone look more guilty than destroying and hiding evidence. 

Preparing to Conduct Oneself in Full Out Divorce Litigation, Your War of the Worlds 

Family and friends are important supporting teammates when you go to war in divorce court. Prepare them for the best and worst to come. Many people may seem supportive but shy away when things get too real. And when the opposing party shockingly approaches one or your suspected allies as a witness against you, be prepared to handle that difficult situation. 

At any point in the litigation, the loss of a friendship because of a misunderstanding or misinformation can cause someone to lose it and that does not help. What does help, is preparing for worst-case scenarios. That way you can count your blessings after the dust settles as you count the casualties on both sides. 

Questions about using infidelity as leverage in divorce? Visit Barrows Firm's website or call (817) 481-1583.

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