What Are “Grounds” for Divorce in Texas?
If you reside in the State of Texas and you are thinking about ending your marriage, then you need to know that you must plead and prove at least one legally sufficient reason (“grounds”) for your marriage to be ended. Grounds for divorce are required in ceremonial and common law marriages. The seven grounds for divorce can be divided into “fault” and “no fault” grounds. The significance of establishing fault in your divorce case is the court can take this fact into consideration when dividing the community estate.
No Fault Grounds
Ground #1 – Insupportability
This involves personality conflicts that you and your spouse have and are not likely to overcome, making your marriage unable to be saved. Testimony that your marriage (1) has become insupportable because of discord or conflict, (2) the discord or conflict destroys the legitimate ends of the marriage, and (3) there is no reasonable expectation of reconciliation will establish the ground of insupportability.
Ground #2 – Living Apart
In cases where you and your spouse have not lived together for at least thirty-six months, you have “Live Apart” grounds for a divorce.
Ground #3 – Confinement in a Mental Hospital
If either of you have been in a mental hospital for at least three years, the court can legally grant a divorce if it appears that the spouse’s mental disorder is of such a degree and nature that that the spouse is not likely to adjust, or that if the spouse does adjust, a relapse is probable. However, you need to have a guardian ad litem appointed for the confined spouse or the divorce can be set aside by the court.
Ground #4 – Cruelty
The court can grant a divorce if it determines that your spouse “is guilty of cruel treatment” towards you was f such a nature that it rendered further living together insupportable. Insupportable is defined as unendurable, insufferable, intolerable, and incapable of being borne.
Ground #5 – Adultery
If you cheated on your spouse, then the court can find that adultery occurred, which is grounds for divorce in the State of Texas.
Ground #6 – Conviction of a Felony
If your spouse has been convicted of a felony during the course of your marriage, has been imprisoned for at least 365 days, and has not been pardoned, the court can grant a divorce. However, this same section says that “The court may not grant a divorce under this section against a spouse who is convicted on the testimony of the other spouse.”
Ground #7 – Abandonment
If your spouse has left for a period of one year or more, or has left with the intent to abandon, then this section applies and a divorce can be granted.
If you want to file for divorce or you are concerned your spouse is considering divorce, it is important that you understand not only your legal rights but the process. If you have questions or would like to discuss your particular circumstances in more detail, please contact my office to schedule a free initial consultation. I look forward to the opportunity to serve your legal needs.