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Grounds for a Texas marital fault divorce

While it is safe to say that the majority of divorces in Texas occur under the state's no-fault law, sometimes a fault divorce is more appropriate. In Texas, a person may seek a contested or evidenced-based divorce for several reasons. Sometimes, the person seeking such a divorce wants to show a severely deteriorating relationship, or show how he or she was victimized in some way. Further, the other spouse usually does not want to end the marriage, making it possible for the complaining spouse to pursue an at fault divorce.

Section 6 of the Texas Family Code addresses the fault grounds for divorce in Texas. They include the following:

Adultery: In a Texas evidence-based divorce, the complaining spouse must prove the adultery occurred.

Cruelty: The law is not especially specific about how cruelty is determined. The statute does say that the other spouse's guilt must be proven and that the two parties can no longer live together.

Felony: The other spouse must be convicted of a felony act and sentenced to at least one year inside a state or a federal prison.

Abandonment and Living Apart: This becomes viable if one spouse left the other with intent to stay away. Depending upon the specific circumstances, the other spouse must have been absent for one to three years.

Confinement in a Mental Hospital: In cases where one spouse has been confined in a mental facility for three years with an unfavorable prognosis, the remaining spouse can seek a divorce.

If you are considering a contested divorce in the state of Texas, you might want to speak with a lawyer about your options. An attorney is the best person qualified to help you decipher the requirements the state mandates in a fault-based divorce.

Source: Texas Constitution and Statutes, "Texas Family Code | Grounds for Divorce and Defenses," accessed Sep. 14, 2015

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