Grounds for Divorce
The Original Petition for Divorce is the pleading (the filed document) that starts divorce in Texas. The Original Petition for Divorce must include several things according to the Texas Family Code. One of the elements that must be included is the “why” the court may grant a divorce. The “why” is a reason or the grounds for the divorce and the basis for a court’s decision to grant a divorce.
There are two types of grounds for divorce in Texas. One type is “no-fault” and the other is “fault”. More specifically, the “no-fault” divorce is what we call insupportability. Basically, one pleads or contains in their pleadings, the assertion that the marriage has become insupportable due to discord or conflict of personalities to such an extent that the marital relationship is destroyed, and any reasonable expectations of reconciliation are prevented. This allows the court to grant the divorce without finding fault on the part of either party to the divorce. The court doesn’t require any testimony about wrong doing or personal, factual issues. The petitioner doesn’t have the burden to prove anything else.
The other type of grounds for divorce in Texas are fact specific. Those grounds are fault grounds and include cruelty, adultery, conviction of felony, abandonment, living apart, confinement in a mental hospital. Each of these grounds requires evidence by testimony or otherwise and proof of specific things. Sufficient proof of these grounds give the court discretion to grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if the other is found to have committed the “fault”. There are a few things that are important to remember about pleading and proving “fault” grounds. One very important part of that is the fact that the testimony or other evidence that is required will forever alter your relationship with the other spouse and possibly your extended family and children as well. And, your pleadings, and most of the time any testimony, will also be public. Do you want your private life available for reading by the public? And, depending on what fault ground you are pursuing there may not be any advantage to you to plead the fault grounds.
These considerations are just a few that an experienced divorce lawyer can talk with you about to help you determine what is right for your divorce. Call today to talk with an experienced divorce and family law attorney.
Jill O’Connell, 940-497-5454