Grounds for Divorce in Texas

Divorce is a legal end of a marriage. The types and processes of parting ways from the married partner differ in each country according to the state laws. In Texas, it has been estimated that annually about 4.1 per 1000 people want to end their relationship. This process starts with filing a petition at the family district court under certain specified terms. Texas allows both ‘fault’ and ‘no-fault’ divorces. A spouse must state the legal reasons for breaking the marital knot.

The entire process officially begins with filing of a petition along with stating the reasons of ending a relationship. To do so, one must be a resident of the state for six months and a county resident for 90 days. A 60-day waiting period is served after filing the petition and before finalization of the process.

Main Reasons for Divorce in Texas

  • Early marriage
  • Lack of communication between spouses
  • Financial conflicts
  • Difference of opinions (personal and career)
  • Lack of commitment
  • Abuse (physical and emotional)

The types of ways for ending a relationship for which major reasons have to be stated in the petition are:

  • Uncontested/ Agreed
  • Do-it-yourself
  • Mediation
  • Collaborative law
  • Litigation

Reasons for Divorce in Texas – Types

The main reasons for people drifting apart, as stated above are generalized. In order to file a case, the spouse has to state the specific reason/s that are relevant in his/her case, for which he/she is ending a relationship. Those reasons could be termed as ‘grounds for divorce’ as mentioned below:

NO FAULT GROUNDS – In a ‘no-fault’ case, the spouse do not blame or prove that the other spouse has done something wrong or illegal. No-fault may include contested issues, such as alimony, property distribution, child custody and support. Also, the petitioner has to mention the reasons for parting ways as per the state’s family code stating:

  • Insupportability – This is the reason stated when the marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities. Such conflicts result in the legitimate end of a relationship, and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation.

FAULT GROUNDS – In a fault based case, the spouse blames or proves that the other spouse has done something wrong or has committed an act which doesn’t support a marriage. The reasons laid down for fault cases are:

  1. Adultery – When a spouse is cheating on the other spouse i.e. has committed adultery or extramarital sex, then the court may grant a verdict in favor of the complaining spouse.
  2. Abandonment – If a spouse intends to abandon and leave the other spouse alone, and never comes back for at least one year, the court may grant a verdict in favor of the complaining spouse.
  3. Confinement for incurable insanity for over three years – The court may grant a verdict in favor of one spouse, if the other spouse has been confined in a state mental hospital or private mental hospital for at least three years, at the time of filing the suit. The mental disorder should be of such a nature that recovery is impossible or a relapse is probable.
  4. Conviction of a felony and imprisonment for over one year – This term is valid when the other spouse has been convicted of a felony; has been imprisoned for at least one year in the state penitentiary, a federal penitentiary, or the penitentiary of another state; and has not been pardoned. The court may not grant a divorce against a spouse who was convicted on the testimony of the other spouse.
  5. Living separate and apart – If the couple have lived apart from each other without cohabitation for at least three years.
  6. Cruel and inhuman treatment– If the other spouse is guilty of cruel or inhuman treatment in such an extreme that living together has become impossible or insupportable.

All cases that are filed in the state of Texas must declare the reasons based on which a divorce is to be granted. The complaining spouse/petitioner who is ending a relationship should always identify the reasons themselves to file for it with a justification. During court proceedings, the victimized spouse must confirm and prove that the allegations have been committed by him/her during the marriage. However, the court has the authority to administer justice by hearing and determining the controversies thereafter. In case the grounds are irrelevant or false, the case may be dismissed by the court.

Thus, the grounds for divorce in Texas should be completely understood and verified when petitioning the court for ending your relationship. This will save time, cost or any sort of potential legal repercussions.