If you’re married you can get divorced, simple as that. You can get divorced even if you never officially got married and meet the criteria for common law marriage-come back for future blogs to read more on common law marriage. However, when filing an actual petition for divorce in Texas courts you must have grounds for divorce. In this blog we will outline what the different types of grounds are for filing divorce. You can also have more than one ground, which is common, for your divorce. If you are unsure consult an attorney, like an experienced Arlington TX family law lawyer. If you do not have an attorney, we here at the Brandy Austin Law Firm would be more than happy to help! The Petition for Divorce must declare the appropriate Texas grounds upon which the divorce is being sought. The appropriate lawful ground will be that which the parties agree upon and can substantiate, or that which the filing spouse desires to prove to the court. The divorce grounds are as follows:
NO FAULT. on the petition of either party to a marriage, the court may grant a divorce without regard to fault if the marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marital relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation.
CRUELTY. the court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if the other spouse is guilty of cruel treatment toward the complaining spouse of a nature that renders further living together insupportable. This also includes family violence.
ADULTERY. the court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if the other spouse has committed adultery.
CONVICTION OF FELONY. the court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if during the marriage the other spouse: (1) has been convicted of a felony; (2) has been imprisoned for at least one year in the State Penitentiary, a Federal Penitentiary, or the penitentiary of another state; and (3) has not been pardoned. (b) The court may not grant a divorce under this section against a spouse who was convicted on the testimony of the other spouse.
ABANDONMENT. the court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if the other spouse: (1) left the complaining spouse with the intention of abandonment; and (2) remained away for at least one year.
LIVING APART. the court may grant a divorce in favor of either spouse if the spouses have lived apart without cohabitation for at least three years.
CONFINEMENT IN MENTAL HOSPITAL. the court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if at the time the suit is filed: (1) The other spouse has been confined in a state mental hospital or private mental hospital, as defined in Section 571.003, Health and Safety Code, in this state or another state for at least three years; and (2) it appears that the hospitalized spouse’s mental disorder is of such a degree and nature that adjustment is unlikely or that, if adjustment occurs, a relapse is probable. (Texas Code – Family Code – Chapters: 6.001-6.007)
If you feel that you fit one of these criteria but may have some extenuating circumstances or are not sure what your grounds for divorce would be, consult an attorney.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Brandy Austin Law Firm PLLC for their insight into divorce law.