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Texas Legislator Seeks to End No Fault Divorce in State

No-Fault-Divorce

For more than 30 years, Texas has allowed couples to end a marriage simply by citing the grounds of “insupportability,” the state’s version of “no-fault” divorce. But that option will go away if a Fort Worth legislator is successful with proposed legislation.

Representative Matt Krause, a Republican from Fort Worth, says he will introduce a bill this year that will remove insupportability from the accepted grounds for dissolving a marriage in Texas. Krause says that he believes the provision makes it too easy for people to file for divorce and that easy divorces have weakened families and family values in Texas and across the country. He believes his proposed law will “reinforce the sanctity of marriage,” compelling people to think harder before they get into a relationship and to work harder when they face challenges.

Under current Texas law, “insupportability” is one of seven grounds that may be stated for obtaining a divorce. The others are:

  • Abandonment by one of the parties for at least one year
  • Living separately for a minimum of three years
  • Adultery by one of the parties
  • Conviction of a felony by one of the parties
  • Commitment to a mental hospital by one of the parties

Cruelty by one spouse toward the other

Krause’s proposed law has met with considerable resistance across the state. Many legal professionals say it will make it much more difficult for poorer people to have access to the courts, as it will likely be necessary for any  party to a divorce to hire an attorney—not always necessary when a divorce is uncontested. Others say that it will force the public disclosure of what are often private, and painful, facts. For example, a party need not disclose adultery under the current law, but would have to do so if the “insupportability” option is eliminated.

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