Allowable Grounds for Texas No-Fault Divorce
Texas is a no-fault divorce state, but this does not mean that the fault of one party cannot enter into the process. When spouses first seek legal advice about the possibility of filing for divorce, responsible Dallas divorce lawyers should educate them about the full range of grounds that are available for their filings. This decision can potentially have a notable significant effect on any divorce settlement.
Texas Law Offers Fault-Based and No-Fault Options
Parties seeking a no-fault divorce in Texas have one option when choosing the grounds for divorce: Insupportability. This option is basically the same as irreconcilable differences grounds available in other states. It essentially says that the parties are no longer compatible, and, without citing fault by either party, they believe that no further attempts can repair their differences.
In fact, the Texas Family Code's Grounds for Divorce and Defenses support a number of fault-based grounds in addition to the no-fault Insupportability ground:
- Conviction of felony
- Living apart
- Confinement in mental hospital
Courts do not automatically accept fault-based grounds without supporting evidence, but once judges accept one of these grounds, they do not generally recognize defenses in accordance with the law.
Fault-based Grounds Can Affect the Terms of Divorce
While most parties head toward divorce because of significant conflicts, they do not always reach the levels of a fault-based ground. Whether they want to live apart because of significant financial disagreements, incompatible lifestyles or a host of other issues, Insupportability is often the logical choice. This option certainly permits most divorcing couples to negotiate fair property settlements, while arranging for custody arrangements that meet the best interests of the children.
Still, what happens when one spouse abandoned the family for a year or more? Or, is it likely that an adulterous relationship has already channeled funds away from the family? Texas judges take serious issues like these under consideration when deciding the terms of fault-based divorces.
When one party is proved to be at fault for a marital breakup, it is relatively common for judges to financially favor the other party when determining an equitable property settlement. Of course, the chances of this type of recognition are greater when specific issues are documented as part of the divorce complaint.
Once you elect to file for divorce, choosing the grounds is just one of the many decisions you will have to make. Since you have to share many personal details from the beginning, it is vital to find a divorce attorney whom you can trust implicitly to help you make the right decisions during every step of the process. Just as important, understand that the right lawyer knows how to help you pursue your rights without creating undue conflict during the divorce process.
Scheduling a paid consultation with our firm is the first step toward gaining a clear understanding of your divorce issues — and reducing must of the stress involved in making a major change to your life. Contact us to begin the process.