What is considered adultery in Maryland?

Asked over 4 years ago - Frederick, MD

Is texting another woman adultery? Can I access records of the text messages?

My husband went to the neighbor's house several times because she invited him over there while her husband was not home. I could see them in the living room together. I sent my husband a text message to tell him it was inappropriate and they should know better. She put the blinds down.

He had beer with her and I am sure she was drinking. She has two children. She also visits the other neighbor (a man), whom my husband also visits. She waits until my husband goes over there before going, leaving her two children alone in their house because her husband is not home yet.

My husband and the female neighbor also text each other. I would like to know, is this adultery, and can I get copies of the text messages? The cell phone service account is in my name, so I can take a look to see if they did talk to each other before I go to court if this happens.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Vance R Redmond

    Pro

    Contributor Level 11

    Answered . In Maryland, adultery is not defined by statute. Historically, adultery was as act of voluntary sexual intercourse committed by a married man with a woman who was not his spouse. The burden for proving a spouse committed adultery is placed upon the complaining spouse, in this case--you. Obtaining direct evidence of adultery can be very difficult. Therefore, the use of circumstantial evidence is allowed to prove adultery but you must prove both a disposition to commit adultery by defendant and his paramour and the opportunity for them to commit the act. Proof of disposition to commit adultery is usually shown through conduct, with a public display of intimacy being the most obvious example. Proving the opportunity to commit adultery is easier, usually through examples of the two individuals being alone together.

    Adultery remains a misdemeanor in Maryland, punishable by a $10 fine. Proving adultery can be very difficult. You should consult an experienced divorce attorney before deciding whether to pursue a divorce based upon your spouse's alleged adultery.

  2. Paula Jeanette Mcgill

    Contributor Level 17

    Answered . I am actually licensed in Maryland.

    As far as text messages -- unless he keeps the incriminating evidence on his phone, most cell phone companies keep texts in their systems for a brief period of time. Therefore, you have to act quickly.

    You asked about adultery in Maryland, not other states.
    In Maryland, under ยง 16-6-19. Adultery is defined as the following:

    "A married person commits the offense of adultery when he voluntarily has sexual intercourse with a person."


    Of course, you have to have admissible evidence regarding adultery. If you don't have witnesses to support your assertion, you may consider hiring a private investigator.

  3. Theodore W. Robinson

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . In most states, Adultery consists of illicit sex between your spouse and another person, or the obvious opportunity to have sex in certain situations. As an example, what you've outlined in your question might be considered adultery, however, there is no absolute proof of it actually happening, so he may have a defense to the case if you sued for divorce.

    Check with a local divorce lawyer to see how your state defines adultery as it applies to situations like yours.

    Good luck.

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