The Ultimate Guide to Grounds for Divorce in Texas: What You Need to Know
If you're considering filing for a divorce in Texas, it is important to understand the concept of grounds for divorce. "That's grounds for divorce" is used often, but many people don't understand what that phrase really means in terms of the law. Knowing this information can help influence how your divorce case plays out and even how much money or assets you stand to gain in the settlement. Generally speaking, grounds for divorce refer to reasons defined by state laws that justify ending a marriage. It's important to note that some states like Texas recognize both fault-based and no-fault divorces, each referencing different legal contexts and precedents.
In the state of Texas specifically, there are fundamental grounds for filing for a divorce based on fault: adultery; cruelty; abandonment; imprisonment of 2+ years; living apart and leaving one partner destitute; conviction of a felony with at least one year sentence; or confinement to a mental hospital. Adultery remains one of the most common causes of such marital disputes leading to total dissolution – however, provisions made by legislature mean that even if the other spouse has been unfaithful it may not amount to much towards helping their case financially.In Texas, The State Adopts a No-Fault Policy in Regard to Divorce.
In Texas, no-fault divorce means that neither spouse gets an advantage or disadvantage in legal proceedings because of the decision to divorce. This is a significant distinguishing factor between it and other states that follow fault-based divorces. This can be beneficial in many cases as it removes the need for one party to prove why the marriage should end, which can be a difficult and emotionally charged process.
No-fault divorces in Texas assume that both parties are equal partners in the marriage and therefore influence discussions of child custody, asset division generally proceeds on equal terms. Although fault can come into play when trying to determine who gets what in a given situation, it cannot be used as grounds for forcing someone to seek a divorce unless there is evidence of cruelty or abuse. This system ensures protection for individuals during marriage dissolution and provides an equitable process for distributing assets after separating.Texas has Legal Reasons for Divorce.
In Texas, couples can use the legal grounds of insupportability, living apart for a period of three years, or confinement for at least three years in a state mental hospital as a basis for getting divorced. Insupportability is also referred to as "irreconcilable differences" and is the most commonly used ground for divorce in Texas. This means that there are irreconcilable conflicts between spouses that have led to an irretrievable breakdown of their marriage. No fault needs to be proven by either spouse according to this ground.
Other grounds which may be considered when filing for divorce in Texas include adultery, cruelty, abandonment, the conviction of felony or misdemeanor with confinement limiting the ability to live with a spouse, confinement in a mental hospital, and/or physical incapacity of one party preventing them from living with their partner. In these cases, proof must be provided before the court will consider these grounds valid. For adultery, specifically two witnesses must testify that they saw the adulterous act take place before it will be considered a valid reason for the divorce.The state of Texas Recognizes Fault Grounds for Divorce.
The fault grounds for divorce in Texas are cruelty, adultery, the conviction of a felony, and abandonment. In order to prove cruelty, the court must determine that one spouse is guilty of cruel treatment toward the other spouse of a nature that renders further living together insupportable. Being found guilty of adultery can also qualify as grounds for divorce. If your spouse has been convicted of a felony and served in prison for at least one year without being pardoned, this can also be an acceptable justification for the grant of divorce. Lastly, for divorce on the grounds of abandonment, one party must have left their partner without consent or legal justification with an intention to remain away permanently or for an extended period of time; holidays are excluded from the calculation. These fault grounds provide a means to ensure that people in these situations are provided with the closure they need to move forward with their lives.
The presence of fault grounds could have an impact on the outcome of a divorce settlement in Texas.
In the state of Texas, fault grounds can affect a divorce settlement, especially in situations where one party may have had an affair. This can result in the spouse who was unfaithful with an unequal division of community estate during property division. Although it is possible for fault grounds to have an influence on your divorce settlement, it rarely makes sense for a couple to waste time and money on proving fault. If the couple does not have substantial assets at stake, then proving one spouse's guilt probably won't make any difference to the outcome of the case.In Texas, the Jurisdiction for Divorce Cases is Held by the State.
When initiating a divorce procedure in Texas, it's crucial to take into account that the state holds jurisdiction over the case.This means that your situation will be addressed based on the laws and regulations of the state, rather than any other jurisdiction. This enables you to have access to legal advice about your particular situation without having to worry about how the applicable laws differ from those of another state. Additionally, this makes it easier for divorcing couples to receive a fair distribution of any assets or debts acquired during their marriage since Texas is a community property state.
When filing for divorce in Texas, there is no need to prove marital fault, but all assets accumulated throughout the marriage may be subject to division—even those outside of Texas—at the discretion of a judge should both parties decide to divorce. However, it is important to note that fault grounds can still play an important role in proceedings depending on which spouse is being held responsible. To ensure a more accurate view of both sides' circumstances in your specific case, it's beneficial to consult with an experienced divorce attorney who can provide further clarification and insight into what considerations should be made while determining fault grounds.Talk to a Lawyer
An experienced divorce attorney 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 provide guidance and offer advice throughout the entire process.Contact ustoday at www.thorntonesquirelawgroup.com for a free consultation.