Justia Lawyer Rating
Justia Lawyer Rating
National Bar Association
Fort Bend County Bar Association
State Bar of Texas
United States District Court of Southern Texas
Texas Supreme Court
Avvo Reviews Badge
Texas Bar College
Expertise Best Divorce Lawyers in Houston

Exploring the Most Common Grounds for Divorce in Texas

divorce When it comes to getting a divorce in Texas, understanding the grounds for divorce is important. There are both fault-based and no-fault grounds for divorce. Let's take a closer look at the different grounds for divorce in Texas.

No-Fault Grounds for Divorce

In Texas, one can file for a no-fault divorce by claiming "insupportability." This simply means that the marriage has become insupportable due to conflicts or discord. The spouse filing for divorce does not need to prove any specific fault or wrongdoing on the part of the other spouse. This no-fault option is often the most common and simplest way to get a divorce in Texas.

Fault-Based Grounds for Divorce

Apart from the no-fault option, Texas family law also recognizes several fault-based grounds for divorce. These grounds require the plaintiff to prove that the other spouse engaged in specific behaviors or actions that led to the breakdown of the marriage. Let's explore the fault-based grounds for divorce in Texas:

  1. Cruelty: This ground for divorce is based on the spouse's cruel treatment that makes living together intolerable. It can include physical or emotional abuse.
  2. Adultery: If a spouse has engaged in extramarital affairs, the innocent spouse can file for divorce on the grounds of adultery.
  3. Felony conviction: If one spouse has been convicted of a felony and imprisoned for at least one year, the other spouse can file for divorce based on this ground.
  4. Abandonment: If a spouse has intentionally abandoned the other for at least one year without any intention of returning, it can be grounds for divorce.
  5. Living apart: If spouses have lived apart without cohabitation for at least three years, it can be a ground for divorce in Texas.

It's important to note that fault-based grounds for divorce may impact additional aspects of the divorce, such as property division, spousal support, and child custody.

Choosing the Right Grounds

When contemplating a divorce in Texas, it's essential to choose the proper grounds. Consulting with an experienced divorce attorney can help you understand the specific circumstances and which grounds are most suitable for your case.

In conclusion, Texas recognizes both fault-based and no-fault grounds for divorce. No-fault divorces are based on the insupportability of the marriage, while fault-based divorces require proof of specific behaviors or actions by the other spouse. Choosing the right grounds for divorce is crucial, and seeking legal advice is highly recommended to navigate the divorce process smoothly.

The residency requirements for filing for divorce in Texas.

Before filing for divorce in Texas, it's crucial to understand the residency requirements that must be met. These requirements determine whether the Texas family courts have jurisdiction over your case. To ensure a smooth and valid divorce process, it is important to meet the state's residency criteria.

In order for a Texas court to have jurisdiction over a divorce proceeding, either spouse must have been a resident of the state for at least six months prior to filing and a resident of the county where the divorce is being filed for at least 90 days. This means that either you or your spouse must have lived in Texas for at least six months before you can initiate divorce proceedings.

The specific residency requirements in Texas are designed to prevent individuals from seeking a divorce in a state where they have little to no connection or actual residency. By adhering to these requirements, the court ensures that it has jurisdiction over the divorce case and has the authority to make legally binding decisions related to the dissolution of the marriage.

It's important to provide the court with evidence of your residency during the divorce process. This evidence can include utility bills, driver's licenses, lease agreements, voter registration cards, or any other documents that clearly establish your residency in Texas for the required time period.

It is also worth noting that military members and their spouses have additional options when it comes to meeting the residency requirements. The Texas courts do allow military personnel to file for divorce in Texas if they are stationed in the state, even if they do not meet the standard residency requirements.

If you are unsure about whether or not you meet the residency requirements to file for divorce in Texas, it is advisable to consult with an experienced divorce attorney. They can evaluate your specific circumstances and provide you with guidance on how to proceed based on the state's residency laws.

By understanding and satisfying the residency requirements, you can ensure that your divorce case will be handled appropriately by the Texas courts. Meeting these requirements is an essential step in initiating the divorce process and moving toward the dissolution of your marriage.

The Texas divorce process is conducted through the court system.

The divorce process in Texas can be a complex and emotional journey, but understanding the steps involved can help ease some of the stress. While every divorce case is unique, there is a general process that couples must follow when seeking a divorce through the court system in Texas.

  1. Filing the Petition: The divorce process typically begins with one spouse (the petitioner) filing a Petition for Divorce. This document outlines the basic information about the marriage, such as the names of the spouses, the date of marriage, and the grounds for divorce. It is important to note that Texas is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that you can file for divorce without proving fault on the part of your spouse.
  2. Serving the Petition: After the Petition for Divorce is filed, the petitioner must serve the other spouse (the respondent) with a copy of the petition and a citation. This informs the respondent about the divorce lawsuit and their right to respond within a certain timeframe.
  3. Responding to the Petition: The respondent has a specific period of time, typically 20 days, to file a response to the petition. This is known as the Answer. The respondent can also file a Counter-Petition if they wish to include their own requests and demands in the divorce proceedings.
  4. Temporary Orders: During the divorce process, either spouse can request temporary orders to address important issues such as child custody, child support, spousal maintenance, and property division. These orders provide temporary guidelines that remain in effect until the final divorce decree is issued.
  5. Discovery: The discovery phase allows each spouse to gather information about the marital estate, including assets, debts, income, and expenses. This may involve exchanging financial documents, answering written questions (interrogatories), and taking depositions.
  6. Negotiation and Settlement: Many divorce cases are resolved through negotiation and settlement outside of court. Spouses and their attorneys work together to reach mutually agreeable terms on issues such as child custody, property division, and support. If a settlement is reached, it is documented in a written agreement called a Marital Settlement Agreement.
  7. Mediation: If the spouses are unable to reach a settlement on their own, they may be required to attend mediation. A trained mediator helps facilitate communication and negotiation between the parties, with the goal of reaching a resolution that is fair to both sides.
  8. Trial: If all attempts at negotiation and settlement fail, the case may proceed to trial. At trial, the court will hear evidence and arguments from both sides and make decisions on the unresolved issues. It is important to note that going to trial can be a lengthy and costly process.
  9. Finalizing the Divorce: Once the court has made its decisions, a final divorce decree is issued. This document contains the court's rulings on all of the issues in the divorce, including property division, child custody, visitation, child support, and spousal maintenance.

While this overview provides a general outline of the divorce process in Texas, it is important to remember that each case is unique and may present its own challenges and complexities. Consulting with an experienced divorce attorney can help ensure that you have the guidance and support you need throughout this often difficult journey.

Talk to a Lawyer

An experienced divorce lawyer in Harris County, Galveston County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, Brazoria County, Houston, Sugar Land, Missouri City, and Stafford, Texas at Thornton Esquire Law Group, PLLC, can help you with your divorce case. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Client Reviews
Selecting an attorney can be one of the most difficult decisions a person has to make. In what seems like an overwhelming sea of attorneys who do you choose? Are they qualified, compassionate, and are they willing to fight for you without compromising their integrity? When faced with this decision in 2016 I received this and more when I retained Rahlita Thornton as my attorney. Since 2016 she has represented me on several court cases and I've never been disappointed. She is well versed and very knowledgeable on many aspects of the law. Attorney Thornton and her staff work diligently to ensure no stone is left unturned and justice is served. When I was crippled with fear, bullied, and felt like giving up she was my voice. She is highly recommend and I'm truly blessed to have her in my life. TTW
It was a divine power that drove me to call. There are ton of lawyers online but I knew this attorney was the one for me. C.B., Divorce Client
Attention & communication is very good when working with this professional legal team. They are here to help you whenever questions arise and explain details as they go. Thank you for taking the time to accept my case & working with me. P.L.