You’re remarried and you’re in a suit for custody with your ex-spouse. Surely you can tell your current spouse anything, right? But what if your spouse is called to testify against you? I think I saw in a movie once that my spouse couldn’t testify against me in court, is that true?
In most family law cases, your current spouse can be called to testify against you under oath. Texas law makes an exception in criminal cases – your spouse can choose not to testify against you in a criminal proceeding. This is an old legal concept called “spousal immunity.”
Most family law proceedings are in the civil courts system, which generally does not recognize a spousal immunity. This means that your spouse could be called by your adversary’s attorney to testify against you, including things that you have told to your spouse which may hurt your case.
Spousal immunity is meant to respect the importance of being able to confide in a spouse. Family law cases oftentimes come with stress, fear, and uncertainty, and having a spouse to confide in is needed most in these times. However, it may not always be in your best interest to divulge sensitive information about your case to your spouse, especially if the information would be harmful to your case.
Fortunately, there is an attorney-client privilege which applies to almost all communications between yourself and your attorney. If you have any questions about what information you should share with your spouse or anyone else, your attorney will be happy to advise you.