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What are 'grounds for divorce' in Texas?

iStock-1162938868.jpgPeople get divorced for all kinds of reasons -- but at least one of those reasons has to serve as "grounds" for the divorce. In Texas, the grounds on which your divorce is based can have a significant effect on your actual divorce process, so it's smart to understand your options.

No-fault divorce

Like most other states, Texas allows for a "no-fault" divorces. If you and your spouse have been living apart for at least three years, you can use this option. Even if you haven't, you can still file a no-fault divorce on the basis that your "marriage is insupportable due to discord." It isn't necessary to spell out the specific problems that you and your spouse have with each other, which makes this one of the most compassionate and practical ways to end a marriage.

At-fault divorce

Sometimes, it makes more sense to allege that your spouse is somehow responsible for the end of your union. In Texas, valid reasons to seek a divorce include:

  • Abandonment or desertion
  • Adultery
  • Cruelty or violence
  • Felony conviction (and imprisonment of a year or longer)
  • Insanity and confinement (for three years or longer)

It's important to remember that you have to prove whatever you allege. If you don't, you may have to start the divorce process all over. Blaming your spouse for the divorce on paper is also more likely to inflame the situation and result in push-back, which can be problematic, so it's usually wiser to only choose this route when you think there is either something to be gained or no other option.

It's better to make the decision about whether to seek a no-fault divorce or an at-fault divorce in consultation with your attorney. You can discuss the particulars of your situation in a judgment-free zone and plan your next steps from there.

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Accolades & Achievements

Brandon, Karen, Michael, Megan Are Proud To Have Achieved The Following Legal Accolades for Exemplary Legal Service.

*Karen Marvel was recognized in Texas Monthly in 2008-2019 as a Texas Super Lawyer by Texas Super Lawyers (a Thomson Reuters service)

**Karen Marvel is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization