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What to Know About the Various Grounds for Divorce in Texas

Jan. 15, 2019

Understanding Grounds for Divorce in Texas

While Texas allows for a no-fault divorce, there are some grounds for ending a marriage that can be used to simplify the legal process. For the past decade, there have been right around 80,000 divorces every year in the Lone Star State. If you’re thinking about ending your marriage, consider getting in touch with a Baytown family law attorney who can help you understand the different grounds for divorce.

What Is a No-Fault Divorce in Texas?

When married couples are looking to separate, the primary option available in Texas is to file for a no-fault divorce. This only requires the spouse to tell a judge that the marriage is essentially over and that neither partner can fix the marriage. At least one spouse is required to tell the judge that the marriage cannot be supported because of issues with incompatible personalities that have caused the relationship to be destroyed and have eliminated the possibility of reconciling. A no-fault divorce can be entered by just one spouse and proceed even if the other spouse objects to it. This usually allows the divorce proceedings to progress somewhat quickly.

Fault-Based Grounds for Divorce in Texas

In Texas, it’s also possible for one spouse to assert that there are fault-based grounds for divorce, of which there are six types. In order for a spouse to assert that there are fault-based grounds for divorce, they will need to have enough proof about the grounds that are being stated. Furthermore, they will need to show that these grounds warrant a divorce. If the grounds cannot be formally approved, the divorce will not be granted. The main grounds for a divorce that are acceptable by a Texas judge include:

  • Being separated or living apart for three years or longer

  • Being abandoned by a spouse for at least one year

  • The confinement of a spouse to a private or state mental hospital

  • Adultery

  • Cruelty

  • Felony where the spouse is imprisoned for one year or longer

Filing based on one of these reasons indicates that the reason was the cause for the divorce. However, the other spouse can get the opportunity to contest the reason for the divorce. This means that the grounds must be proved by the filing party.

How Condonation Can Apply to Your Case

In Texas, condonation is a type of defense that can be used within fault-based divorce proceedings. Given the highly emotional aspect of many divorce cases, it’s possible that one spouse can accuse the other of the aforementioned grounds solely to draw the proceedings out and make them more complicated for the other spouse. Laws in Texas have taken this specific situation into account and provide the spouse who is being accused with the ability to deny the claims and instead request a no-fault divorce if the spouse who has filed for the divorce actually condoned the behavior that they are accusing them of.

Although this type of defense can be used by individuals who are being levied with fault-based allegations, the judge must also believe that reconciliation is possible in order to accept the defense. Since fault-based proceedings can last for a lengthy period of time, this type of defense is mainly used to alter the fault-based divorce filing to a non-fault filing. The two things that a spouse must prove with this defense are that the other spouse forgave them for their actions and that they are remorseful and never committed the act again once they were forgiven. No matter what type of divorce you would like to seek, Baytown attorneys can help you identify what your best option is and when it should be used.

If any of the seven grounds for marriage apply to your case, call our Baytown family law attorneys today. We would be happy to schedule a confidential consultation about moving forward with a divorce.