What are the grounds for divorce in Texas?

Divorces in Texas are always granted on some sort of “grounds.”  There are seven different grounds for divorce under the Texas Family Code.

The vast majority of divorces are granted on no-fault grounds.  There are three bases for a no-fault divorce.  The most common is “insupportability.”  This basically means that the parties just cannot get along and that the marriage has become insufferable or intolerable.  A divorce can also be granted based on the grounds of living apart.  This is considered a no-fault ground and requires that the parties have lived apart for at least three years.  Finally, a no-fault divorce can be granted if one spouse is confined to a mental hospital.  That spouse must have been committed for at least 3 years and it is unlikely the spouse’s mental incapacity will end.  The mentally incapacitated spouse would be appointed a guardian ad litem.

There are four “fault” grounds for divorce: abandonment, adultery, cruelty, and a felony conviction.  Abandonment occurs when one spouse leaves the other for a period of at least  a year without the other spouse’s consent.  Adultery requires actual sexual intercourse between one spouse and someone outside the marriage.  A divorce can be granted on cruelty grounds when one spouse’s treatment of the other is so cruel that living together becomes unbearable.  Finally, a spouse can obtain a divorce on the grounds of a felony conviction if the convicted spouse was imprisoned for at least one year and has not been pardoned.  Fault grounds can be used as a basis for an uneven distribution of property.

Divorce

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