Last Updated on October 9, 2021 by Melody McDonald
What are the grounds for divorce in Texas?
While Texas law allows for no-fault divorces, the Texas Family Code, beginning at Section 6.001, also sets out a number of grounds for divorce:
- The marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict (“No Fault Divorce”)
- Conviction of a Felony
- Living Apart
- Confinement in a Mental Hospital
Insupportability is defined in the Texas Family Code. Basically, it means that you and your spouse will not reconcile in the future 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 may be the reason for a divorce in favor of one spouse if the other spouse is cruel in a manner that renders living together insupportable.
Adultery may be grounds 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 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 (i.e. filing suit) spouse with the intention to abandon them and remained away for a year or more.
Living apart for at least three years allows the court to grant the divorce in favor of either spouse.
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.
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. Similarly, one spouse cannot hold another spouse hostage by refusing to participate in the divorce proceeding.
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.