In the State of Texas there are two separate types of divorce: fault grounds for a divorce and no fault grounds for a divorce. The purpose of this article is to discuss no fault grounds for divorce in Texas, meaning simply that neither party has caused the divorce.
The vast majority of Texas divorces are filed as no fault divorces. However there are situations where the conduct of one spouse may have caused the divorce such as adultery, cruelty, conviction of a felony, abandonment, living apart, or confinement in a mental hospital. Each of these cases would be considered fault grounds.
Grounds for Divorce: No Fault, Insupportability
Upon the Petition of either party to a marriage, the court may grant a divorce without regard to fault. This comes into play if the marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities that destroy the legitimacy of the marital relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation.
Evidence to Support No Fault Divorce
The Court cannot grant the divorce without hearing evidence supporting the factual issues. As such, the petitioner must present to the court adequate evidence for a no fault divorce. Additionally, the respondent must be given the opportunity to acknowledge the evidence prior to the court determining these issues factual. Failure to allow the respondent to reply would violate his or her due process rights.
Even assuming there is no defense to a petition for divorce on the ground of insupportability, the petitioner is still required to establish the facts with evidence. That being said, the prima facie case — a case accepted as correct until proven otherwise — for a no fault divorce should be satisfied by the declaration of the petitioner that he or she sincerely believes that the marriage is irreparably broken. Upon such testimony, dissolution should ordinarily be granted, unless the judge detects hesitancy on the part of the petitioner regarding the possibility of saving the marriage.
Since the Texas Legislature enacted the statute for insupportability as grounds for divorce, the trial court has no discretion to deny the divorce. The point is that Texas will not force you to continue being married forever against your will.
When deciding whether to request a no fault divorce there are a multitude of different issues to consider. Property division is a complicated area of the law. Once such issue that may arise is the ultimate division of the marital estate. The Texas Family Code puts forth that the Court shall divide the estate of the parties in a manner the court deems to be just and right. If you are attempting to be awarded a disproportionate share of the community estate, then you need to plead and prove factors that will convince the Court of this. When filing for a n0 fault divorce, this becomes exceptionally tricky, and you will need to explore different “fairness issues” with your lawyer. After presenting your case, the court may then decide to award you a larger share of the estate; however, the court is not required to take such fairness factors into consideration.
When to Consult With an Attorney
Consult with an attorney if you are dealing with a divorce or a property division case. These cases are incredibly complicated and having an experienced divorce lawyer is important. If you have any questions, call the Round Rock Law Offices of Clifford Swayze at (512) 335-5245. We serve the following communities in Williamson County, including Cedar Park, Round Rock, Leander, Georgetown, Liberty Hill, Hutto, Taylor and Austin.
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