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Grounds for Divorce in Texas

Last Updated on September 28, 2023 by Turner Thornton

Texas is a “no-fault divorce state,” which means one spouse does not have to show the other did anything wrong in order to get a divorce. However, the Texas Family Code does lay out a number of specific grounds for divorce. In this article, we will discuss each ground for divorce in Texas:

  1. The marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict (“No Fault Divorce”)
  2. Cruelty
  3. Adultery
  4. Conviction of a Felony
  5. Abandonment
  6. Living Apart
  7. Confinement in a Mental Hospital

What are the grounds for divorce in Texas?

The grounds for divorce in Texas can be found in Chapter 6 of the Texas Family Code:

Insupportability basically means that you and your spouse will not reconcile because there is too much conflict within the marriage to maintain a marital relationship. For this basis, it must be clear that there is no reasonable expectation that the parties will be able to reconcile.

Cruelty can be cited as the reason for a divorce if one spouse is cruel in a manner that renders living together insupportable.

Adultery may be a ground for divorce if one spouse has committed adultery. There used to be a rule that if both spouses have committed adultery, it cannot be used as grounds for divorce by one spouse, but that is no longer the case.

Felony Conviction
Felony conviction includes a few different nuances. A court can grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if the other spouse has been convicted of a felony, has been imprisoned for more than one year in a federal jail, another state jail, or with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, and has not been granted a pardon. If the conviction of the other spouse was based on the testimony of the petitioning spouse, the divorce cannot be granted on this ground.

Abandonment may be the basis for divorce if one spouse left the petitioning spouse (i.e. the one filing suit) with the intention to abandon them and remained away for a year or more.

Living Apart
Living apart for at least three years allows the court to grant the divorce in favor of either spouse.

Mental Health
Confinement in a mental hospital allows the court to grant a divorce if, when the petition for divorce is filed, the other spouse has been in a mental hospital (public or private), as defined by the Health and Safety Code, in Texas or another state for more than three years and the disorder for which the spouse is hospitalized is of such a degree and nature that it is unlikely the spouse will adjust or if an adjustment is possible, that relapse is likely.

Contact Us

If you are considering divorce or have been served with divorce papers in North Texas, give us a call at (817) 900-3220 to set up a consultation. Our team can help get you through this difficult time and will work to protect your interests.

Turner Thornton
Turner Thornton
Turner Thornton is a well-known family law attorney in Fort Worth who leads the Varghese Summersett Family Law Group. Turner has successfully guided hundreds of individuals and families through the most trying period of their lives as a skilled negotiator and savvy litigator. Turner Thornton concentrates his practice on family law, including divorce, child custody, contempt, and modification cases. He is experienced in handling estates with significant and unique assets that can be difficult to value. He finds amicable resolutions where possible to conserve his client's resources, but knows how to take the gloves off if the situation calls for it. He has had remarkable results in and outside of the courtroom based largely on his ability and desire to understand his clients' needs and guide them on the pathway to what success looks like for them.

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