In Texas, you can ask for a divorce for specific reasons of some marital problem (fault divorce) or generalized reasons that the marriage isn’t working (no-fault divorce). This division in divorce in Texas is historical but continues to provide some legal benefit in certain circumstances. Depending on the facts of your case and what you seek to accomplish with your divorce – aside from the obvious dissolution of marriage – it can be advantageous to file a no-fault or fault divorce in Texas.
Divorce in Bedford, Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas
Historically, most states only granted divorce for very specific reasons. In Texas, these specific reasons continue to exist as the basis for fault divorce. That doesn’t mean you can receive a fault divorce because your spouse is “at fault” for the marriage failing; it means the court found one spouse’s conduct meets one of the specific reasons for causing the divorce.
The Texas Family Code specifies these as the only reasons for fault divorce: adultery, bigamy, cruelty (abuse), desertion, drug addiction, alcoholism, felony, fraud, impotence and insanity. To prove one of these faults existed is a challenge. It normally requires lengthy litigation to prove the reason by the preponderance of the evidence. “Winning” a fault divorce often entitles the “winning” spouse to a greater share of community property. It does not mean you get everything, but you might get more. There are some other rare reasons why one would choose a fault divorce.
However, most people opt for a no-fault divorce because the possibility of getting a larger share of the marital property usually will not justify the tens of thousands of dollars it can cost to go to trial and wait potentially years for the divorce to be granted and resolved.
No-fault divorce in Texas
As divorce became more common and less socially impermissible, Texas permitted the no-fault divorce. No-fault divorce allows courts to grant divorces on allegations of marital breakdown, consent of the spouses and the spouses living apart. It is rare that a party chooses to challenge a no-fault divorce. If one spouse wants a divorce and the other does not, that usually proves by itself the marriage broke down. Sometimes the spouses will squabble over assets, custody and child support to a judge or jury; but it is usually a less cumbersome process than a fault divorce.
Just because a no-fault divorce is a simpler process does not necessarily mean it is right for everybody. If considering filing for divorce, you should speak with a Fort Worth divorce lawyer to determine the strategy that best meets your needs. Visit the uncontested divorce page or contested divorce page for more information about how a divorce lawyer can help you.