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Does the Reason for Divorce Matter?

March 3, 2020

Spouses get divorced for a variety of personal reasons. Two people may have grown in different directions and fallen out of love with each other. They may have insurmountable disagreements about money or values. Sometimes one spouse falls in love with someone else.

There are many justifiable personal reasons for getting a divorce. If you are considering ending your marriage, you have probably thought carefully about your personal reasons for doing so. However, not all personal reasons are legally valid.

If you want a court to grant you a divorce, you may need to choose a legally valid reason, called a ground, for your divorce.

Texas courts recognize seven grounds for divorce. They include:

  • Insupportability: The marriage cannot continue because of conflicts that cannot be resolved.

  • Cruelty: Your spouse’s cruel treatment makes it unbearable to continue living together.

  • Adultery: Your spouse has cheated on you.

  • Conviction of a felony: Your spouse has been imprisoned for at least a year because of a felony offense and has not been pardoned.

  • Abandonment: Your spouse left with the intention of abandoning you and has remained away for at least a year.

  • Living apart: You and your spouse have lived apart for at least three years.

  • Confinement in a mental hospital: Your spouse has been in a mental hospital for at least three years and your spouse’s condition makes it unlikely that he or she will adjust without relapse.

The most common ground used in Texas is the insupportability ground. This is such a popular option because it is a no-fault option. This means that it does not blame either spouse for the cause of the divorce. However, a fault-based ground, which blames one spouse for the need to divorce, can be an appropriate option in certain circumstances.

The best ground for divorce isn’t the same for each family. When choosing a ground, it is important to understand your options and determine the best option for your unique situation.