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Texas family law outlines several reasons for divorce

On Behalf of | Aug 3, 2014 | Family Law

There is a growing segment of the population who believes that it is still necessary for a spouse seeking a divorce to demonstrate that the other party was at fault for the failure of the marriage. That is a misconception. Under current Texas law either spouse can petition the court for divorce for several reasons.

Sections 6.001 through 6.007 of the Texas Family Code on dissolution of marriage say that a divorce can be predicated on grounds of in supportability, cruelty, adultery, conviction of felony, abandonment, living apart and commitment to a mental hospital.

An example of insupportability in family law is where both parties have such a conflict of personalities that it would make the prospect of remaining married practically impossible. The spouse seeking and dissolution under these grounds is basically telling the court that there is no reasonable expectation of reconciliation between both parties.

Cruelty is rather self-explanatory and indicates that one party is excessively cruel to the other, making marriage and living together insupportable. Adultery is where one married spouse has an extramarital affair. Either spouse can petition the court for dissolution based on those grounds.

The grounds for divorce due to felony conviction is largely based on the concept that a spouse be released from the bonds of marriage and allowed to carry on with his or her life. Two of the additional conditions of this type of grounds for dissolution requires that the other spouse has been incarcerated for at least a year and has not yet been pardoned.

Abandonment requires that the spouse who left have no intention of returning and has been gone for at least a year. Additionally, a court may grant a divorce to a spouse in which both parties have not cohabitated for at least a period of three years.

The grounds of commitment to a mental hospital are predicated on a similar rationale as the felony conviction grounds for dissolution. The overall reasoning is that the state should not require a spouse to remain married to a person who has been committed to a mental health hospital for at least three years. An additional condition to this particular grounds for dissolution also require that the spouse committed to the mental hospital suffers from a condition that would make it unlikely that the marriage could succeed.

Source: Texas Constitution and Statutes, “Family Code Chapter 6, Suit for the dissolution of marriage” Jul. 28, 2014


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