Can Texts be Used to Prove Adultery in Idaho?

Idaho is rare when it comes to divorce laws. While many states have no-fault or fault divorce laws, Idaho has a hybrid system. In a no-fault divorce, a spouse simply has to prove that the marriage is irreparable. This is the more modern system. In the traditional fault divorce, a spouse has to prove the other was guilty of marital misconduct. This includes physical abuse, abandonment, and adultery. Idaho’s hybrid model allows divorces under either system.

It is generally easier to get a divorce on no-fault grounds in Meridian, ID.  The spouses simply need to cite irreconcilable differences. This means they do see any way to resolve their problems. However, obtaining a divorce on the grounds of adultery or another fault may benefit the “innocent spouse”. For example, they may get more in alimony. This is why some people still opt to try to prove adultery.

What a Meridian Divorce Attorney Will Tell You About Proving Adultery

Adultery is defined as “the voluntary sexual intercourse of a married person with a person other than the offender’s husband or wife.” Many people believe that allegations of infidelity can cause a judge to side with the alleged victim. They think the injured party will get more assets and a higher amount of maintenance. However, divorces aren’t decided based on emotions or anecdotes. Claims of adultery must be proven.

Many people who suspect adultery search their partner’s pockets, phone or computer. When they come across incriminating texts, videos or other exchanges, they think they have found proof to prove adultery. However, this type of information is unlikely to hold up before a judge.

In the state of Idaho, texts and social media exchanges are considered circumstantial evidence. Letters, travel records, hotel confirmations and the like can show that:

  • A spouse had the opportunity to commit adultery

  • A spouse had the inclination to commit adultery

Taken together, a spouse will believe the parties engaged in sexual intercourse. However, there’s no proof it occurred. Making plans to meet doesn’t mean intercourse actually happened and a judge won’t be convinced. The accused spouse could easily argue that they never went through with the act. The other spouse would have no proof otherwise.

Unfortunately, most spouses don’t have actual proof of adultery such as photos, videos or eyewitness testimony to prove adultery. This is understandable since cheating spouses tend to be discreet. However, an experienced private investigator may be able to get proof while acting within state and federal privacy laws. Photos of videos which the spouse takes themselves may not be admissible if they weren’t obtained within the law.

Going to such lengths to ensure a favorable outcome from the divorce may not be worth the effort. A fault, including to prove adultery, is only one of the many factors which the court will consider.

How Alimony is Decided based from a Divorce Lawyer in Meridian

Judges have quite a bit of discretion in deciding whether to award alimony. They also have lots of leeway in how much should be awarded and for how long. However, they can only order a spouse to pay if:

  • The other spouse doesn’t have sufficient property to meet their reasonable needs, and
  • The other spouse can’t support themselves by getting a job.

Both of these statements must be true in order for a spouse to be granted maintenance. To decide how much the alimony will be and how long it will last, a judge will consider:

  • the financial situation of the spouse seeking maintenance. This includes the marital property the spouse will get through property division and their ability to support themselves.
  • the time that spouse needs to get the necessary education and training to find employment.
  • the length of the marriage
  • the age and mental and physical health of the spouse applying for maintenance
  • the ability of the other spouse to pay maintenance while also meeting their own needs.
  • the tax consequences of the divorce to each spouse

The court’s decision, therefore, won’t be based solely on adultery. It is also worth noting that paying alimony is not intended to be a form of punishment. The purpose of alimony is quite clear. It is intended to:

  • Help both spouses maintain a standard of living close to the one they had when they were married
  • Make sure one spouse isn’t left destitute while the other smiles all the way to the bank

Contact a Divorce Attorney in Meridian to Discuss Your Case

If you suspect your spouse is cheating and you want a divorce, consult an attorney in Meridian, ID. While you may have seen texts that suggest infidelity, you will need a lot more to prove adultery. If an increase in alimony is what you’re after, it won’t be that simple. Contact the Meridian Divorce attorneys at Idaho Divorce Center today for a consultation. They will advise you on the best way to handle a divorce while acting within the law.