There are many understandable reasons why someone may choose to seek divorce. If you are considering ending your marriage, you probably put a great deal of thought into your decision. However, personal reasons are not always the same as legally valid reasons.
You can seek divorce for whatever personal reason you choose, but your divorce petition must include a legally valid reason for this action. Legally valid reasons are also called grounds, and Texas courts recognize seven possible grounds for divorce.
No-fault grounds are popular
In Texas, most people choose to pursue a no-fault divorce. This means that neither spouse is blamed for causing the need to divorce. There are two no-fault grounds to choose from.
One option is the insupportability ground. Someone who chooses this ground is claiming that conflict between the spouses has made the marriage insupportable and there is no expectation that the spouses will resolve their differences.
Another option is the living apart ground. This ground may be used in situations when spouses have lived apart without cohabitation for three or more years.
A fault-based ground is sometimes a better strategy
Although many people prefer to use no-fault grounds, those petitioning for a divorce have the option to select a fault-based ground instead. A fault-based ground blames the other spouse for causing the need to divorce.
A fault-based ground can be advantageous in situations when the petitioner is seeking an unequal portion of community assets. However, the petitioner may be required to prove that that the ground applies to his or her situation.
The fault-based grounds in Texas, include:
- Conviction of a felony
- Confinement in a mental hospital
If you are considering filing for divorce, it is important to carefully consider which ground you will use. The best option will depend entirely upon your unique situation.