All people are equal before the law. However, a good attorney makes a significant difference.

Aggressive Yet Caring San Antonio At-Fault Divorce Lawyers

At Sralla Family Law PLLC, our San Antonio divorce attorneys can help you if you are interested in seeking a fault-based divorce in Texas. Whether it is contested or uncontested, this type of divorce is distinguishable by the allegation that one of the parties was at fault in causing the break up of the marriage. Common grounds for alleging fault include:

  • Adultery
  • Spousal abuse
  • Cruelty
  • Emotional distress
  • Theft
  • The commission of other improper acts by the at-fault spouse

As stated above, fault in the breakup of the marriage is one factor the court may consider in deciding whether to award a disproportionate share of the marital estate to the party victimized by the fault. In other cases, where spousal abuse is present, the victimized party may also seek a protective order against the at-fault spouse or take other action to limit the at-fault spouse’s access to the children.

What To Know About Texas At-Fault Divorce

When spouses seek to end their marriage, the matter is occasionally more complicated than no-fault divorces, where two partners want to end their marriage because they have simply grown apart. In these cases, there is more to the litigation than just divorce.

The primary impact that the existence of fault can have in a divorce setting is on the manner in which the court divides the community property. Fault is one of several bases for a court to consider in awarding one side a disproportionate share of the community estate over the other spouse.

How Adultery Can Affect A Divorce

A cheating spouse, for example, stands to lose more than his or her dignity if the fact of adultery is proven in court. It could actually hit them in the pocketbook. Where a spouse is a proven adulterer and that fact is asserted as the cause of the breakup in the marriage, the offending spouse stands to lose a discretionary percentage of the community estate when the community assets are carved up and disbursed by the court. Such a dynamic obviously comes into play more prominently in divorces involving large community estates with high dollar values.

Domestic Violence Can Also Impact Divorce Rulings

Other factors that can influence a court to adjust the divorce settlement against an offending spouse include the existence of domestic violence issues or the commission of an assault against the other spouse. When one spouse puts a hand on his or her partner, it can give rise to a cause of action for assault in the divorce case. The side alleging the assault will have to prove each of the elements of the assault case. The complaining spouse will be in a position to receive damages and every other form of relief available to a victim of assault in addition to the disproportionate share of community estate in the divorce action.

In a divorce setting, where one spouse has been convicted of domestic violence, this fact can have other effects on the handling of issues in the dissolution suit. It can even bring into play certain issues that would otherwise not come before the judge in a divorce case. For example, spousal maintenance – the principle that one spouse has to provide monthly support to his or her spouse – usually does not become an option unless the parties have been married for at least 10 years. However, in an at-fault divorce, where there is a conviction for domestic violence, the court can order the offending spouse to provide monthly spousal maintenance to the victimized spouse even though the parties may have been married less than the requisite 10 years.

Handling Divorces Where Criminal Acts Are Involved

Indeed, any cause of action that one person can conceivably bring against another can be joined with a divorce suit. Although somewhat rare, this can include claims for theft, fraud and intentional infliction of emotional distress, to name a few. These causes of action can subject the offending spouse to actual damages and even punitive damages if the underlying claim supports such an award. This is in addition to a potential award of a disproportionately low share of the community estate and other potential points of impact in a divorce setting.

Your Advocates In Child Conservatorship In A Fault-Based Divorce

Where children are involved, the offending spouse could see the consequences of his or her bad acts, which result in the denial of access to the children or, in appropriate cases, the imposition of supervised access rights on the offending spouse. In these situations, the services of a competent, skilled lawyer are essential to protecting your rights, whether one is in the offending spouse’s position or the victimized spouse’s position. Either way, the breadth of issues presented in an at-fault divorce is considerably broader in scope than issues facing the parties in a traditional no-fault divorce.

Answering Your At-Fault Divorce Questions

What is the hardest year of marriage?

Year seven is the hardest year of marriage, according to most polls.

Why do most marriages fail?

Common and leading causes for divorce are communication problems, financial issues, infidelity and general incompatibility.

How long does the average marriage last?

The average marriage lasts eight years.

Does infidelity affect divorce in Texas?

Yes. Infidelity can be considered fault in the break-up of the marriage and can give rise to the non-offending spouse receiving a greater than 50 percent, or disproportionate, share of the marital estate.

Can I sue my husband for cheating in Texas?

No. However a party can sue for divorce. Infidelity can be considered a fault in the break-up of the marriage and can give rise to the nonoffending spouse receiving a greater than 50% share of the marital estate.

Who pays for divorce if adultery is present?

Generally speaking, the party filing for divorce pays the initial filing fee and each party pays for their own respective lawyers. However, a court maintains the discretion to shift the burden of these costs and fees to either party at any time.

Can you go to jail for adultery in Texas?

No. You cannot go to jail for adultery in Texas.

What counts as proof of adultery?

Proof of adultery, or any fact relevant to a divorce, can come in the form of any item of evidence that makes it more or less likely that the adultery occurred.

Can cell phone records prove adultery?

Cell phone records can prove a conversation occurred, but without more, they cannot definitively prove adultery.

What is marital infidelity?

Marital infidelity is when one spouse cheats on or is otherwise unfaithful to, his or her partner.

How common is cheating in marriage?

Polls are all over the map on this, revealing that between 25% and 72% of marital partners cheat on their spouse. This is a difficult pattern to gauge, however, because many offending spouses are reluctant to admit to pollsters that they have cheated. Generally speaking, infidelity is more common among the wealthy and less common in conservative households.

How many marriages survive affairs?

While it is estimated that four out of 10 marriages are plagued by infidelity, more than half of these compromised marriages survive affairs.

Discuss At-Fault Divorce With Our Experienced Team

Are you considering or facing a fault-based divorce? Please call our San Antonio law office at 210-600-9565 or send us an email to set up a consultation about your situation.