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Understanding The Grounds For Divorce In Texas

Understanding the Grounds for Divorce in Texas

Navigating the waters of divorce can be one of the most challenging and emotionally fraught times in a person’s life. The legal grounds for divorce can dramatically impact the process and its outcome, making it essential to have a firm grasp of your state’s divorce laws. This is especially true in Texas, where the nuances of divorce statutes require a thorough understanding. In this guide, we will break down the foundations and essentials of divorce grounds in the Lone Star State. Whether you’re considering divorce or assisting someone who is, this article will provide you with the knowledge you need to make informed decisions.

The Basics of Divorce in Texas

Understanding the divorce process begins with the knowledge that Texas is a no-fault divorce state. This means that a spouse can seek a divorce without having to prove wrongdoing by either party. Despite this, fault-based grounds remain a relevant aspect of Texas law. Such grounds can affect how property is divided, the award of alimony, and the custody of children. In Texas, there are both no-fault and fault-based grounds for divorce, and the choice between them can have significant legal and emotional implications.

No-Fault Divorce Explained

The concept of no-fault divorce is one where neither party is blamed for the marital breakdown. Rather, the assertion is that the marriage has become insupportable due to discord, making any reconciliation attempts impractical. In the context of Texas, asserting no-fault divorce typically means stating that the marriage has broken down beyond repair, and there is no chance of reconciliation.

The Role of Fault in Texas Divorces

Even in no-fault Texas, a divorcing spouse may still choose to sue on fault-based grounds. Known legally as suing “for a divorce,” rather than “for a decree of divorce,” this approach can impact the division of property and the awarding of alimony. It could also influence matters of child custody and visitation. Here are the most common fault-based grounds in Texas:


Adultery involves one spouse engaging in a sexual relationship with someone other than the other spouse, which can significantly impact a divorce.


This fault is defined as one spouse treating the other in a manner that rendered living together insupportable. It can be physical or emotional abuse.


If a spouse leaves the marital home with the intention of abandonment and stays away without the other spouse’s consent for at least one year, it can be grounds for divorce.

Felony Conviction

If a spouse has been convicted of a felony and has been imprisoned for at least one year, this can be grounds for divorce.

Insupportability in Divorce Cases

Insupportability is the no-fault ground most frequently used in Texas. It’s a catch-all provision that implies a marriage that cannot be preserved because of conflicts that destroy the legitimate ends of the marriage and render cohabitation insupportable.

Citing Insupportability

Many Texas couples choose to cite insupportability as a reason for their divorce because it’s straightforward and avoids the messy process of proving fault. Common reasons for citing insupportability include:

Its Legal Implications

While no direct evidence of marriage breakdown is required, the legal implications of choosing insupportability as a ground can lead to a quicker, less contentious divorce process. It often results in a more favorable outcome for issues like property and custody arrangements due to the perceived fairness and conciliatory spirit.

Understanding Texas Residency Requirements

To file for a divorce in Texas, one or both spouses must have been a resident of the state for at least six months prior to the filing. Also, one of the spouses must have been a resident of the county where the divorce is filed for at least 90 days.

How Grounds for Divorce Impact Legal Proceedings

Determining the grounds for divorce is not just a legal formality in Texas—it plays a significant role in settling the terms of the divorce. Adhering to specific grounds can impact everything from the waiting period before the divorce is finalized to the actual division of the estate. It’s crucial to negotiate the division of property, child custody arrangements, and spousal support in light of the chosen grounds.

Legal Considerations for Selecting Divorce Grounds

When selecting grounds for divorce, it’s essential to consider not just the emotional aspect but the legal ramifications and the individual circumstances of the marriage. A skilled divorce lawyer can guide you through this critical decision, taking into account the impact on your future financial stability and the well-being of any children involved.

In Summary

The intricacies of grounds for divorce in Texas are multifaceted and require a clear understanding to ensure the best possible outcome. Whether choosing the simplicity of no-fault or the potentially advantageous fault-based approach, it’s crucial to approach the process with insight and informed counsel. By taking the time to understand the grounds for divorce and their implications, individuals can make strategic decisions that protect their interests and pave the way for a more peaceful transition.

Why Understanding Texas Divorce Grounds Matters

Understanding the complexities of divorce grounds in Texas is essential for anyone entering the divorce process. The choice of grounds can influence the complexities of the legal proceedings, the settlement of assets, and even emotional closure. By grasping the nuances of Texas divorce law, you empower yourself to make the right decisions for your unique situation and lay the groundwork for a brighter post-divorce future.

Take the Next Step with Hargrave Law, PC

For unmatched representation and extensive knowledge of Texas divorce law, contact Hargrave Law, PC. Our team is dedicated to helping our clients achieve the best possible outcome in their divorce cases. Call 817-968-7191 to schedule a consultation and take the first steps toward a new chapter in your life.

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