What are the grounds for divorce in Texas?
Couples who are having marriage issues in Texas may be considering a divorce. Those seeking a divorce should know about the grounds on which it can be filed.
Before the 1970s, no-fault divorces were not possible in the US, and Texas couples could only end their marriage on certain grounds, such as adultery or abuse. Today, many couples who find that their marriage is not going to work out for one reason or another choose to agree on terms of separation. If a couple goes to court and files the requisite forms, they can attend a hearing where the divorce is finalized in the court of law. Some couples who pursue this option prefer a mediator.
Occasionally, however, one or the other spouse in a marriage may file for a divorce that the other spouse does not want, and in these instances, the grounds for divorce are still warranted. When this happens, the court may order divorce in one or the other spouse’s “favor.” Pursuing a divorce on any of the following grounds may prove to be tumultuous and could leave a family in a difficult situation. As such, the court expects anyone filing for a divorce on these grounds to prove that certain facts are true.
A spouse has been institutionalized
If a spouse has been confined in a mental hospital for at least three years, it may constitute grounds for divorce. The spouse moving for the divorce must prove that the institutionalized person is so mentally ill that he or she is unlikely to recover, or that he or she will probably relapse.
Living apart and abandonment
If the spouses in a divorce have not cohabited for at least three years, one or the other may file for a divorce on the grounds of living apart. Sometimes, however, a situation of living apart is not mutual, such as when one spouse leaves the other spouse with no intention of returning. In this instance, a divorce may be filed on the grounds of abandonment if the abandoning spouse has been gone for at least one year.
If a spouse has been convicted of a felony, imprisoned for at least one year, and has not been pardoned, the other spouse may move for a divorce. This will not work if the imprisoned spouse was convicted on the other spouse’s testimony.
Adultery and cruelty
Sometimes the grounds for divorce rest simply on the mistreatment of one spouse by the other. If one spouse commits adultery, the other can file for a divorce. Likewise, if a spouse has treated the other so cruelly that the court deems their living together insupportable, a divorce may be granted.
Those seeking a divorce may find the process more complicated than expected and may require some assistance in representing themselves. An attorney in the local area who practices family law may be able to help in such matters.