In Texas, you are not required to provide grounds when you file for divorce, especially if the divorce is uncontested. This is because Texas is a no-fault state. However, in the event that citing grounds is necessary or beneficial for your claim, Texas recognizes seven statutory grounds for divorce:
- Living Apart: Either spouse can be granted a no-fault divorce if the couple has not lived together for three years.
- Insupportability: If your marriage is a lost cause due to a number of reasons, including a clash of personalities or disputes that cannot be resolved, then either spouse may be granted a no-fault divorce on the grounds of insupportability. This is the ground often referred to as “irreconcilable differences.”
- Adultery: If one spouse has had sexual relations with someone other than their spouse, then the victimized spouse may be granted a divorce. This ground requires proof that the adultery actually took place. This ground may also be unavailable to couples with previous agreements about extramarital sex, such as open relationships.
- Cruelty: If one spouse is excessively cruel to the other for an extended period of time, the victimized spouse can ask for a divorce on the grounds of cruelty. Cruelty comes in many forms, including physical attacks, intimidation, abusive language, and humiliation. You may have to prove that the cruelty was systemic, and not a singular episode, to use this ground.
- Abandonment: If one spouse is absent from the home and life of the other for at least a year, with the intention of abandonment, the abandoned spouse can request a divorce.
- Conviction of a Felony: If one spouse is imprisoned for at least a year, or convicted of any felony, the other may request a divorce.
- Confinement in a Mental Hospital: If one spouse has spent three years in a mental hospital, and the likelihood of them recovering without relapse is low, then the other spouse may be granted a divorce.
If any of the above grounds for divorce apply to you, it could strengthen your case should you choose to file for divorce.
Fault vs. No-Fault Divorce
You may be wondering how to decide between a fault and no-fault divorce. While the differences are subtle, they can have an effect on the outcome of your divorce.
No-fault divorces are the usual choice for an amicable, uncontested divorce. They tend to be easier to handle, making them quicker and, often, cheaper. Squabbles over property division and child custody are still common with no-fault divorces, but they still tend to be more simple than a fault-divorce. Couples often choose a no-fault divorce if they have experienced a natural decline in their marital relationship. These kinds of divorces usually allow the judge to use fair and reasonable judgment to divide the assets.
Fault divorces, on the other hand, are more often chosen in extreme, severe cases, such as adultery, abandonment, and felony conviction. These claims are much more likely to be contested, which means they are often more expensive and complicated to fight. The benefit of pursuing a fault divorce is that you may be able to receive a much larger portion of the assets, including full child custody.
Contact Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P.
If you are considering a divorce in Texas, contact the San Antonio divorce lawyers at Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. for assistance. We can help you decide whether to use one of the seven grounds listed above, or if a no-fault divorce might be better for your situation. We have dedicated our careers to family law, so we know the answers to all your questions about child custody, property division, spousal support, and more. To schedule an appointment to discuss your legal options, call us today at (210) 349-9933.