What Does Insupportability or No-Fault in a Texas Divorce Mean?

Texas Divorce Insuprotabilty: Understanding the Basics Of No-Fault Divorce Laws

Potential clients who come to see us who have been served with divorce paperwork often ask us “What is insupportabilty and what are the grounds of insupportability in Texas?” To put it in plain English, insupportability is the legal term Texas uses for a no-fault divorce.

Insupportability Under the Texas Family Code

The Texas Family Code section 6.001 says, “On the petition of either party to a marriage, the court may grant a divorce without regard to fault if the marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marital relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation.”

No-Fault Divorce

One potential client told me, “That is clear as mud; what does insupportability mean?”

The most common way to obtain a Texas divorce is to file on the grounds of insupportability, which means “discord or conflict of personalities” that has prevented any “reasonable expectation of reconciliation.”

Most states have laws for granting a no-fault divorce. Some states call this ground “irreconcilable differences” or “incompatibility.” In Texas, our no-fault ground is insupportable.

Filing the Petition

In a no-fault divorce, the spouse who requests the divorce doesn’t need to prove that their spouse was at fault for the marriage’s breakdown.

If a spouse seeks a divorce on the grounds of insupportability, they must prove that the marriage is insupportable.

They typically do this by giving testimony. Usually, this involves simply answering “yes” when their attorney asks:

“Has the marriage become insupportable because of a discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marriage relationship and is there no reasonable prospect of reconciliation?”

In Texas, you do not need to show:

  1. The nature of the conflict
  2. Any effort to fix it or
  3. Who is at fault

Fault-Based Divorce in Texas

Other potential clients who come to see me have heard about no-fault divorce and believe that fault no longer matters in a Texas divorce.

Although it is no longer necessary to plead fault in a divorce in Texas, you can still state specific grounds under section 6 of the Texas Family Code for ending your marriage, including:

  1. Living apart
  2. Confinement in a mental hospital
  3. Cruelty
  4. Abandonment
  5. Conviction of a felony
  6. Adultery

A court may give more of the community property to the “innocent” spouse if fault is proven in divorce.

Before the passage of the “No Fault” statute, it was necessary to prove that one of the above grounds for divorce had taken place before you could obtain a divorce. This is no longer the case.

In Texas, forcing a spouse to stay married is no longer possible. If either spouse wants a divorce, they will be entitled to a divorce.

Grounds for Fault-Based Divorce


Living Apart

This can be used as a ground for divorce if the spouses have lived apart without cohabitation for at least three years.

Confinement in a Mental Hospital

If a spouse has been confined in a mental hospital for at least three years, and it is unlikely that the spouse’s mental disorder will improve, this can be used as a ground for divorce.


If one spouse is cruel to the other to the point that living together is insupportable, this can be used as a ground for divorce.


If one spouse has left the other with the intention of abandonment and has been away for at least one year, this can be used as a ground for divorce.

Conviction of a Felony

If during the marriage, a spouse has been convicted of a felony and imprisoned for at least one year (and not pardoned), this can be used as a ground for divorce.


If one spouse has committed adultery, this can be used as a ground for divorce.

Is Marriage Counseling Required in Texas?

There is a provision for counseling in the Family Code; however, there is no legal duty to reconcile in Texas.

If a spouse wants to be divorced, there will be a divorce. A spouse can slow down the process, but ultimately it will happen.

Texas Divorce Insuprotabilty: Understanding the Basics Of No-Fault Divorce Laws

Filing for divorce in Texas involves a legal process that can be broken down into several key steps. Here’s an overview of the process:

Residency Requirements

Before filing for divorce in Texas, either you or your spouse must have been a resident of the state for at least six months and a resident of the county where you are filing for at least 90 days.

Preparing the Divorce Petition

The divorce process officially begins with the filing of a document called the “Original Petition for Divorce.” This petition includes basic information about the marriage, such as names, dates, and arrangements sought regarding property division, child custody, and support.

Filing the Petition

You should file the petition with the district court in the county where either you or your spouse has met the residency requirements. Generally, you will need to pay a filing fee.

Serving the Petition

You must formally notify the other spouse of the divorce, a process known as “service of process.” Upon receiving the notification, the served spouse has the opportunity to file an answer to the petition.

Temporary Orders

In certain situations, either you or your spouse can request temporary court orders. These orders can cover various issues, including child custody, child support, and spousal support, providing stability and structure throughout the divorce process.

Discovery Process

This phase involves the exchange of information and documents between spouses regarding assets, debts, and other relevant matters.

Mediation or Negotiation

Many divorce cases involve mediation or negotiation, where spouses attempt to resolve their differences and reach an agreement on various issues outside of court.


If an agreement cannot be reached, the case will go to trial. During the trial, both parties present evidence and arguments, and a judge makes the final decisions.

Final Decree of Divorce

Once parties resolve all issues through mediation, negotiation, or a trial, the court issues a Final Decree of Divorce, legally ending the marriage. This decree outlines all the terms of the divorce, including property division, child custody, and support arrangements.

Post-Divorce Actions

After finalizing the divorce, additional steps may include changing names, transferring property, and implementing child custody schedules.

It’s important to recognize that divorce laws can vary across different counties in Texas. In complex situations, such as those involving significant assets or contentious custody disputes, the case may require more legal steps or considerations. To navigate the specific circumstances of any divorce case effectively, consulting with a qualified attorney is always advisable.

The Role of Lawyers in an Insupportability Divorce Case

Texas Divorce Insuprotabilty: Understanding the Basics Of No-Fault Divorce Laws

In the context of an insupportability divorce case, the role of lawyers is especially crucial due to the complexity and emotional nature of these proceedings. An experienced divorce attorney, like those from a reputable law firm such as Bryan Fagan Family Law, can provide invaluable guidance through this intricate process.

Our attorneys help clients understand the legal jargon and intricacies of the law, especially in cases where “insupportability” – a term that refers to discord or conflict of personalities leading to the breakdown of the marriage – is a central issue.

Our team plays a pivotal role in actively protecting and representing your rights and interests. We actively negotiate fair terms, address issues related to asset division, child custody, and support, and ensure we present your case effectively in court.

The support and guidance of a knowledgeable attorney from a firm like Bryan Fagan Family Law can make a significant difference in the outcome of an insupportability divorce case.

The Impact of Divorce on Children

In cases involving children, the grounds of insupportability in Texas can have a profound impact. The process of divorce can be emotionally taxing for children, and the court’s primary concern is always their best interests. Issues like child custody, visitation rights, and child support can become complicated, and it’s crucial to handle these delicately, keeping the children’s well-being at the forefront.

Division of Assets and Debt

When you’re dealing with an insupportability divorce in Texas, the division of assets and debt is a significant concern. While the article mentioned that the “innocent” spouse could receive more community property, it’s important to note that Texas is a community property state. This means the law considers all assets and debts acquired during the marriage, except for a few exceptions, as community property and divides them equally upon divorce. However, this can become complex, and understanding your rights can make a significant difference.

Spousal Support/Alimony in Texas

In divorce cases, spousal support, or alimony, becomes a hot-button issue. This is an area that the article didn’t touch on, but it’s a crucial aspect of many divorces. In Texas, alimony is not automatic; it depends on several factors, including the length of the marriage, the financial resources of both parties and the capacity of the spouse seeking support to provide for their minimum reasonable needs.

Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution

Mediation and alternative dispute resolution methods can settle the grounds of insupportability in Texas in a less adversarial and more cost-effective way. In mediation, a neutral third party helps the couple negotiate and agree on various aspects of their divorce. This method can reduce tension and lead to a more amicable dissolution of marriage.

Effects of Divorce on Personal and Financial Life

Divorce, particularly on the grounds of insupportability in Texas, can substantially impact your personal and financial life. It can lead to changes in living situations, potential tax implications, and the need for financial rebuilding. Preparing for these changes and understanding how to navigate them is crucial.

Appealing a Divorce Decree

Although it’s not common, there are circumstances where you might want to appeal your divorce decree. This could be due to a perceived error in the court’s decision or a significant change in circumstances. Understanding the conditions and process for an appeal can be vital in these situations.

Post-Divorce Modifications

Texas Divorce Insuprotabilty: Understanding the Basics Of No-Fault Divorce Laws

Life doesn’t remain static after a divorce. Over time, there may be a need to modify the terms of the divorce decree, particularly about child custody or support. These modifications can be due to changes in employment, relocation, or the child’s needs. Understanding how this process works and when you might need to consider it is essential.

Domestic Violence and Divorce

When discussing the grounds of insupportability in Texas, it’s essential to actively address the factor of domestic violence. Texas law grants rights and protections to victims of domestic violence, and understanding these is crucial during a divorce. The involvement of domestic violence can drastically alter the divorce process. It impacts various aspects of the divorce proceedings, including child custody and property division.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, understanding the grounds of insupportability in Texas is the first step. Navigating through the legal intricacies of a divorce requires a deeper understanding of the process, the role of legal counsel, the impact on children, and the division of assets and debts. Furthermore, actively understanding issues like alimony, mediation, the impact on personal and financial life, and the potential for post-divorce modifications can better equip you to handle the process.

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  3. Am I Married? – Marital Status in Texas
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  5. When is, Cheating Considered Adultery in a Texas Divorce?
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  9. Know How Property and Debts are Divided, When Preparing for Your Texas Divorce
  10. How Much Will My Texas Divorce Cost?
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  12. What happens if a court order paternity test shows you are the father of the child?
  13. Is Adultery a Crime in Texas?
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FAQs about Insupportability in Texas Divorce

What if marriage has become insupportable because of discord?

If a marriage has become insupportable due to discord, it is grounds for a no-fault divorce in Texas. This means that neither spouse has to prove the other was at fault for the marriage breakdown.

Is insupportability the number one ground for divorce in Texas?

Yes, insupportability is the most common ground for divorce in Texas, often associated with the concept of a no-fault divorce.

What does insupportable mean in a divorce?

In a divorce, ‘insupportable’ refers to a marriage that has become intolerable due to discord or conflict of personalities, with no reasonable expectation of reconciliation.

What are acceptable grounds for divorce in Texas?

In Texas, acceptable grounds for divorce include insupportability, living apart, confinement in a mental hospital, cruelty, abandonment, conviction of a felony, and adultery.

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At the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, the firm wants to get to know your case before they commit to work with you. They offer all potential clients a no-obligation, free consultation where you can discuss your case under the client-attorney privilege. This means that everything you say will be kept private and the firm will respectfully advise you at no charge. You can learn more about Texas divorce law and get a good idea of how you want to proceed with your case.

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