Does it matter to the court why I want a divorce?

Divorce has become so common that many people believe they can get a divorce for just about any reason. However, this is not necessarily the case.

People have a wide variety of personal reasons for seeking divorce, but when someone files for divorce, he or she must choose a legally valid reason. These legally valid reasons are called grounds.

No-fault grounds avoid blame

Many people choose to end their marriages with “no-fault” divorces. This means that someone can end a marriage without blaming his or her spouse for the need to end the marriage.

One way to do this is by choosing the insupportability ground. This ground means that conflict has made the marriage insupportable, and there is no expectation that the spouses will reconcile.

A different no-fault ground that someone could use involves living apart. However, the spouses must have lived apart without cohabitation for at least three years for this ground to apply.

A fault ground can be a strategic choice

Although it is common to choose a no-fault ground, Texas also recognizes fault grounds. A fault ground blames the need for divorce on the other spouse. Choosing a fault ground can be a strategic choice in some situations because it can affect some divorce outcomes, such as the division of assets. However, someone who uses a fault ground may need to provide proof for the ground he or she chooses.

Fault grounds recognized by Texas courts include:

  • Cruelty
  • Adultery
  • Conviction of a felony
  • Abandonment
  • Confinement in a mental hospital

If you think that ending your marriage is the best way forward, you have probably already identified your personal reasons for doing so. However, it may also be helpful to consider what ground is most appropriate for your situation because the ground you choose can affect the outcomes of your divorce.

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