Imagine this—your spouse is in the shower and you notice they’re getting a lot of text messages. You flip over the phone, and see their inbox is full of explicit texts and pictures going back and forth between your spouse and a coworker. You’ve had your suspicion of infidelity, but now you have proof! What do you do next?
Before you do anything else, you should contact Adkins Law and set up a consult about your situation. In North Carolina, marital misconduct is a big deal. It can be used as the basis for a fault-based divorce, in determining alimony, and in so called heart balm torts like criminal conversation or alienation of affection suits. Unfortunately, those incriminating texts may not be enough to prove infidelity on their own.
“But what do you mean this isn’t enough?!”, you’re surely asking. This is a frustrating side effect of new technology coming into the courts. While these text messages may be very explicit and constitute cheating in your mind, absent proof that there was inclination and opportunity to have actual, physical sexual conduct, it simply is not enough.
This is not the end, however. These text messages may be very helpful in bolstering your claim of infidelity. For example, if you know that your spouse and their coworker went on a “work trip” together and shared a room, you can likely make the case that they had both inclination and opportunity to engage in a sexual relationship, and those text messages only make it more likely that they did. Text messages may also detail an encounter that occurred between the parties that can be used to show that a sexual relationship is ongoing or to show that third party driving a wedge into the marriage.
Remember, text messages, emails, phone records and the like can all be used as supporting evidence, but it is important that they are collected correctly and authenticated to be used in court.
If you are interested in pursuing a divorce based on infidelity or have any questions about how to correctly preserve those text messages, contact Adkins Law today to set up a consult.
Infidelity is one of the leading causes of divorce. In most cases, when a spouse cheats the damage has been done and the relationship cannot be healed. Before you consider divorce, however, especially if there are children involved, I highly recommend that you make an attempt at marriage counseling. Marriage counseling may or may not work, but at least you made an attempt at preserving the relationship.
From a legal perspective, infidelity may have a big impact on a divorce. Primarily this comes into play when determining alimony. In North Carolina, alimony may be awarded when there is a dependent / supporting relationship. This basically means that one spouse is dependent on the other spouse’s income to maintain a certain standard of living. If there is a dependent / supporting relationship and the dependent spouse has cheated, the dependent spouse is barred from alimony. If, however, the supporting spouse has cheated, the dependent spouse is virtually guaranteed alimony.
Infidelity also comes into play if an injured spouse is considering a heart balm action. In North Carolina, heart balm actions are designed to protect the sanctity of marriage and the family unit. An injured spouse may bring a lawsuit against the third party that either alienated their relationship with their spouse, or had sexual relations with their spouse. In other words, if a spouse cheats, the injured spouse may sue the person who had sex with the spouse. There are several limitations to these types of suits, however, including the fact that the actions must have occurred before the separation.
If you believe your spouse has cheated on you and you are considering divorce or legal action, please contact Adkins Law to speak to a divorce attorney. Adkins Law is located in Huntersville and primarily serves Mecklenburg County and the Lake Norman area.