Texas Divorce Laws – Overview
You can either have fault or no-fault grounds to file for divorce in Texas because it is a mixed state. In either case, it’s always best to hire a divorce lawyer.
A fault ground to divorce can give you an advantage especially when the judge is dividing marital or community property.
Reasons for Divorce in Texas
No-Fault Grounds For Divorce in Texas
There are 7 grounds for divorce in Texas Family Law. These might also be referred to as the “Types of Divorce in Texas.”
The main no-fault grounds for divorce in Texas include:
- Insupportability: Used when the spouses have conflict and cannot reconcile
- Living apart: This ground is for a situation where spouses have lived apart for three years without cohabiting.
Confinement In A Mental Hospital
- Confinement in a mental hospital: it is another no-fault ground for divorce that applies when a spouse is confined in a mental hospital for three years. It must appear that the mental disorder of the spouse is of a degree that neither spouse is unlikely to adjust to, or is likely to relapse.
Fault Grounds In A Divorce
While fault grounds come with some advantages, you still need to prove that the other party has done something wrong. Proof can come in the form of a testimony from a witness that has firsthand knowledge of the other spouse’s wrong behavior. These fault divorces are not as common as no-fault divorces in Texas. Part of the reason for this is that they tend to take a longer time to finalize which also means that they cost more.
The fault grounds include:
- Cruelty: When a spouse wilfully causes you pain or suffering it can be regarded as cruelty. The treatment can become so cruel that it the couple living together can become insurpportible. However, “cruel” as a term is subjective which means it could stand for different things depending on the context.
See also…Can I sue my Ex for Emotional Distress?
Conviction of a Felony
- Felony criminal conviction: The spouse of a person convicted of a felony can file for divorce on those grounds. Your divorce will be granted if the convicted spouse served at least one year in prison and has not been pardoned. The conviction can either be federal or state penitentiary.
- Abandonment Divorce in Texas: You can file for divorce if your spouse left you with the intention of abandonment and stayed away for at least a continuous one year. If the spouse comes back after one year with no intention of staying, the court can still grant you divorce.
- This one needs no explanation.
Going to Court Or Mediation
Most divorces in Texas do not end up in front of a judge. Couples often negotiate divorce terms and child custody and child support issues in the presence of their lawyers and counsellors. Once an agreement is reached it is taken to the court for approval and after being approved it becomes legally enforceable.
Spousal Maintenance In Texas
A court in Texas will only give a spousal support order in two situations:
- The marriage lasted for more than 10 years and the spouse seeking spousal support either doesn’t enough property or income to meet their needs, or is the custodial parent for a child with mental or physical disability.
- One of the spouses was convicted or received deferred adjudication for domestic violence. The violent spouse is the one that has to pay spousal maintenance.
Most judges in Texas do not approve requests for spousal maintenance unless they can be convinced that it is necessary. So divorce cases that have spousal maintenance in the final divorce decree are rare.