What are the Grounds for Divorce in Texas?

Texas Grounds for Divorce

One of the requirements to file for divorce in Texas is to provide the court with a solid reason for the divorce. This reason, commonly known as grounds for divorce, must be proven to the court in order for a divorce to be granted. Texas has seven grounds for divorce, and they may be categorized as either a fault-based or no-fault divorce. Keep reading to find out which ground for divorce best applies to your situation.

Fault-Based Divorce vs. No-Fault Divorce in Texas

In Texas, the grounds for divorce are essential in determining whether the divorce is happening because one party is at fault (aka a fault-based divorce) or if neither spouse did anything to warrant a divorce (no-fault divorce). The reason this is so important is that depending on if there is fault or not, it could impact the division of marital property, spousal support award, or even parental fitness in some cases.

Fault-Based Texas Grounds for Divorce

The grounds for a fault-based divorce in Texas include cruelty, adultery, conviction of a felony, abandonment, living apart for three years, confinement in a mental hospital.

  • Cruelty: If one spouse is guilty of cruel treatment towards their other spouse and, therefore, cannot continue living together, this ground may be used. Being guilty of cruelty essentially means that you render the living environment as insupportable. In order for a judge to uphold this fault, there needs to be evidence that the spouse inflicted willfull and persistent suffering.
  • Adultery: Occurs when one spouse cheats on the other during the marriage. There must be concrete evidence that this has occurred. A couple ways to prove adultery include bank statements of gift purchasing and video of the act.
  • Conviction of Felony: When one spouse was either convicted of a felony, imprisoned for at least one year in state or federal prison, or was not pardoned, this ground can be used to obtain a divorce.
  • Abandonment: If a spouse leaves the marital home with the intention of abandonment or has not lived there for at least one year (continuously), abandonment may be a ground for divorce. This must include the intention of not returning.
  • Living Apart for at Least Three Years: After three years of a married couple not cohabitating together, they may get a divorce. This must also be continuous, as living together off and on will reset the required duration.
  • Confinement in a Mental Hospital: If one spouse is confined to a private mental or state hospital for at least three years at the time of filing for divorce, and the disorder is likely not to improve, a divorce can be granted.

For a fault-based divorce to be granted on the grounds of one of the following reasons mentioned above, proof must be shown to the court. For example, if you are claiming adultery is the reason for the divorce, you will need to have explicit proof that your spouse cheated on you in order to file for divorce under the grounds of adultery.

While there are fault-based divorces, not every couple has an exact reason for why they want a divorce. Sometimes neither party is at fault, and they just no longer wish to be together. This is a no-fault divorce, and the ground that would be acceptable for this is insupportability, which means the marriage can no longer go on because the couple has disagreements or differences that cannot be resolved.

If you have questions about Texas grounds for divorce, call Parchman Law Group P.L.L.C. today at (713) 364-0777​ to discuss your case with a Woodlands divorce lawyer.