More often than not, adultery fatally harms a marriage. After you have put your heart and soul into your marriage, it can be devastating to discover that your spouse has been unfaithful. You want someone to pay for the turmoil and heartache that has resulted from your spouse’s infidelity. So, you might like to know, Can I sue my husband’s mistress in Texas?
The short answer to can you sue your husband’s mistress in Texas is no. However, Texas law offers remedies during divorce proceedings if a spouse has been the victim of adultery.
Suing a Mistress
Wives who’ve discovered that their husband is cheating often wonder, Can you sue a mistress in Texas? Under Texas law, a wife’s lawsuit against a mistress for adultery generally does not work. Adultery is a voluntary sexual act between a married person and a person who is not their spouse.
Alienation of Affection
Can you sue your husband’s mistress in Texas for stealing his affection? Generally, no. Texas law states that someone cannot bring an alienation of affection lawsuit against a third party. Alienation of affection means that your spouse turned their love and affection towards someone other than you. In Texas, you cannot bring a lawsuit against your husband’s mistress for taking his affection away from you.
If you have heard about emotional distress lawsuits, you might be wondering, Can I sue my husband’s mistress in Texas for emotional distress?
To answer this question, we start with the fact that there are two types of emotional distress claims: intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent infliction of emotional distress. For example, to prove intentional infliction of emotional distress, you must prove that the mistress’ behavior is “extreme and outrageous.” Texas courts generally do not agree that an affair fits this legal standard.
For negligent infliction of emotional distress, you must show that your husband’s mistress owes you a duty of care, that she breached that duty, and that her breach led to your damages. Texas courts have not found any basis for this claim in this context.
Ultimately, a court would believe that the root of your emotional distress claim is the forbidden “alienation of affection” claim. Since that is not permitted, a court would dismiss your emotional distress case.
Adultery and Divorce
It is natural that angry and betrayed women often wonder, Can a wife sue a mistress in Texas? Although the answer is generally no, you have legal options and remedies against your spouse if you want a divorce.
Divorce Fault: Adultery
Even though you may want to punish your spouse’s mistress, the affair is also your spouse’s fault. In Texas, whether a spouse is at fault for the dissolution of your marriage plays a role in your divorce. You can file for divorce based on your spouse’s adultery.
Proving Adultery in Court
A fault-based divorce is more complex than a no-fault divorce, where both spouses agree that neither party caused the marriage’s demise. In a divorce based on a fault, you must prove that your spouse is at fault. Thus, you must prove your spouse’s affair.
Unless they admit to the affair on the record, this means you will have to gather evidence of the affair. Some people hire private investigators to help with this process. An experienced Texas divorce attorney has access to trusted investigators, and they can help you compile the evidence you need.
Non-Cheating Spouse Receives Larger Portion of Marital Property
Alleging and proving your spouse’s adultery in your divorce proceeding may feel like a hassle. However, unlike most of the country—Texas courts look unfavorably upon a spouse who causes the end of a marriage. As a result, a judge may award you, the innocent spouse, a more significant portion of the marital estate if you can prove your spouse’s adultery.
Texas is generally a community property state. This means that most property accumulated by either spouse during the marriage is considered owned equally by both spouses. For the most part, when spouses divorce, a court distributes marital property relatively equally.
However, in cases where one spouse is at fault for the divorce, particularly because of adultery, a court may find that a “just and right” division of the property requires less distribution to the at-fault spouse. For example, suppose you show that your spouse spent community property to perpetuate the affair. In that case, a judge will likely award you a more significant portion of the marital property than your spouse.
Contact Our Divorce Attorneys
If you believe your spouse is having an affair and want to discuss your options, The Larson Law Office is here for you. We provide compassionate and individualized service to each client because we understand that a divorce is difficult and emotional. Contact us today for a consultation.