There are Six Grounds For Fault-Based Divorces in Texas.
In the state of Texas, a spouse can file for divorce without blaming the other spouse; in other words, you can file for divorce without assigning the fault of the break up to the other person.
This is also known as a divorce ‘due to discord of personalities which makes the marriage insupportable’ (“insupportability”).
Insupportability, this no-fault ground is the most common reason that spouses give in divorce suits.
However, there are fault grounds that a husband or wife can file. See Texas Family Code Chapter 6.
- Adultery – one of the common grounds for divorce. When you file for divorce on this ground, you are telling the court that the break up (‘dissolution’) of your marriage is because your spouse committed adultery. In the Texas Family Code (6.003), the definition of adultery is sexual intercourse during marriage with someone that is not your spouse.
- Cruelty – the court may grant a divorce in favor of a complaining spouse if his spouse is guilty of cruel treatment. How does the court measure cruel treatment? In our legal experience, in a contested divorce trial, a spouse alleged cruel treatment financially and emotionally. There were evidences such as stealing funds – hard earned income of one spouse from her account, insulting her, and maltreating her children.
- Conviction of Felony: The court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if:
- the other spouse has been convicted of a felony,
- imprisoned for at least one year, and
- has not been pardoned.
- You have to satisfy all the three elements. Additionally, the conviction cannot be based on the testimony of the same complaining spouse. For example, if your spouse was convicted of robbery and sentenced for 2 years imprisonment based on your testimony; you would not be to file under this particular fault-ground for your divorce. Perhaps, you file under cruelty or insupportability.
- Abandonment: when a spouse leaves with the intent of abandoning the marriage-relationship, and he or she stays away for a year, this is abandonment. You must prove the ‘intent’ part of this ground in order to win.
- Living Apart: A court can grant divorce to either spouse if the spouses have lived apart without cohabitation for at least three years.
- When the couple has lived apart for greater than one year, either one of them may file for divorce in Texas.
- Mental Confinement: at the time the suit is filed,
- (1) your spouse has been confined in a mental hospital for at least three years; and
- (2) it does not look like he or she will recover
- Here, you can present evidence to the court and show that mental disorder is of such a degree and nature that adjustment is unlikely;
- or that, if adjustment occurs, a relapse is probable.
Why is fault ground important?
One of the main reasons a spouse files for a fault-based divorce is to receive a greater share of the community properties.
In Texas, anything purchased during the marriage is community property; there are few exceptions, including, gift, inheritance, and personal injury money (damages – not lost wages).
Therefore, we have seen a rise in fault-ground divorce where one party is treated unfairly during the marriage-relationship. For example, in cases of family violence, the abused spouse can request for reimbursement.
A court is bound to divide the couple’s properties in a manner that is ‘just and right’. Emotional or financial abuse in marriage, when supported with evidence, can show that 70% (abused) and 30% (abuser) is a fair division of their properties.
Whether you choose a no-fault ground for your divorce or fault, talk to an attorney.
An experienced family attorney can help you navigate the divorce process; even better, we can fight for what you deserve – your interests. Call our office: (832) 529-1255 or send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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