An Explanation of the Grounds for Divorce in Texas

Welcome, fellow adventurers in the Lone Star State! Picture this: you’re sipping your morning coffee, gazing out at the Texan sunrise, and your mind starts to wander. You can’t help but wonder, “What are the grounds for divorce in Texas, anyway?” Well, folks, grab your hats, because we’re about to take you on a wild ride through the intriguing world of Texas divorce laws.

Short Answer: In Texas, the grounds for divorce range from living apart for years to proving that your partner drained the community bank accounts on a secret side relationship. But the real question is, why should you keep reading? Well, because understanding these grounds is like having a secret key to navigating the Lone Star divorce maze.

So, saddle up and join us as we uncover the fault lines and no-fault oasis of Texas divorce. We’ll unravel the legal twists, explore child custody, property division, and even spousal support, all while keeping you entertained on this Lone Star tangle adventure!

Understanding the Foundations

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty details, let’s set the stage. Imagine you’re at the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, seeking guidance on your impending divorce. You sit down with an attorney, and the grievances against your spouse start pouring out. From infidelity that cuts deep to your partner ignoring the children’s needs, and reckless spending without regard for the family’s financial well-being—there are myriad reasons people seek divorce.

Why Texas Grounds Matter

In Texas, unlike some other states, you don’t necessarily need a specific reason to divorce. However, to legally end your marriage, you must establish at least one valid ground. There are seven grounds for divorce in the state, and they can be broadly categorized into fault and no-fault grounds.

The Fault Lines

  1. Living Apart: This ground comes into play when spouses have been living separately for at least three years. Surprisingly common, isn’t it? Sometimes, couples drift apart without formalizing the divorce.

  2. Confinement in a Mental Hospital: A lesser-known ground, this one requires that your spouse has been confined to a mental hospital for at least three years, with little hope of recovery. It’s a tough situation for everyone involved.

  3. Cruelty: Proving cruelty can be tricky. It’s when one spouse’s behavior makes it impossible for both to live under the same roof. Cruelty can be both physical and emotional, but gathering evidence is often challenging.

  4. Abandonment: If your spouse has left the marital home with no intention of returning and hasn’t contacted you for at least a year, you might have a case for abandonment.

  5. Conviction of a Felony: This ground hinges on your spouse being convicted of a felony and serving a sentence longer than a year, without a pardon. Fortunately, this is not a common reason for divorce in Texas.

  6. Adultery: Probably the most frequently inquired about ground, adultery involves one spouse engaging in sexual relations with someone else while married. It can impact property division and child custody if substantial harm can be proven.

The No-Fault Oasis

  1. Insupportability: In the modern era, “insupportability” is the most common reason for divorce in Texas. It means that your marriage has broken down due to fundamental conflicts and discord, with no reasonable hope of reconciliation. It’s like waking up one day and realizing you just can’t see eye to eye anymore.

Seeking the Upper Hand

Now, why would anyone bother with fault grounds when insupportability is readily available? Well, here’s the twist: if you can successfully prove a fault ground for divorce, you might have a shot at a more favorable division of the community estate. However, even if you plead a fault ground, a judge can choose to grant the divorce based on insupportability instead.

The Weight of Spousal Support

In the midst of all this legal jargon, let’s not forget about spousal support, often referred to as alimony. While the article touches on it briefly, let’s delve deeper. If you’re eligible for spousal support under Texas law, a judge may consider marital fault when determining the amount and duration of support. It’s not just a financial matter; it’s a matter of fairness.

Spousal Support (Alimony)


What is it?

Spousal support, also known as alimony, is financial support that one spouse may be required to pay to the other after a divorce. It’s intended to help the lower-earning spouse maintain a reasonable standard of living.


The amount and duration of spousal support are determined by several factors, including the length of the marriage, the financial needs of both parties, and each spouse’s ability to support themselves. Marital fault can also be considered.


Spousal support can be temporary (rehabilitative) or long-term (permanent). Temporary support is typically provided to help the receiving spouse become financially independent, while long-term support may be ordered in cases of significant disparity in income.

Impact of Marital Fault

In Texas, marital fault, such as adultery, can influence the amount and duration of spousal support. If a spouse can prove that their partner’s fault had a substantial negative impact on the marriage, it can affect the court’s decision.

Fairness and Support

Spousal support isn’t just about money; it’s about fairness. It’s aimed at ensuring that neither spouse is left in financial distress after a divorce, especially when one spouse was economically dependent during the marriage.

The Divorce Drama Unveiled

Now that we’ve explored the grounds for divorce, let’s unravel the divorce process itself. Picture this: you’ve decided it’s time to end your marriage. What’s next?

Navigating the Divorce Process

  1. Legal Requirements: First things first, you need to meet certain legal requirements to file for divorce in Texas. Understanding residency requirements and waiting periods is crucial.

  2. Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution: Instead of heading straight to court, consider mediation or alternative dispute resolution methods. They can save time, money, and emotional stress.

  3. Child Custody and Visitation Rights: When children are involved, child custody and visitation rights become central. It’s not just about the divorce; it’s about ensuring a stable future for your kids.

  4. Property Division: Texas follows community property laws, which means assets and debts acquired during the marriage are generally divided equally. Understanding this division is vital.

  5. Financial Planning: Don’t overlook financial planning during and after divorce. Budgeting and protecting your assets should be on your to-do list.

  6. Impact on Children: Divorce can take a toll on children. Understanding the emotional and psychological impact on them and learning effective co-parenting strategies is crucial.

  7. Counseling and Support: Divorce is emotionally taxing. Mentioning resources for emotional support and counseling can be a lifeline for individuals going through this challenging process.

  8. Legal Representation: Choosing the right divorce attorney is paramount. They will guide you through the legal maze and advocate for your best interests.

Keeping Up with the Changes

Finally, let’s not forget about staying up-to-date with the ever-evolving Texas divorce laws. Laws change, precedents shift, and it’s essential to be aware of any recent developments that might impact your divorce proceedings.

In the grand tapestry of Texas, divorce is a chapter that many traverse. As you embark on this journey, armed with knowledge of the grounds for divorce, the divorce process, and the potential implications, remember that you’re not alone. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, and other legal professionals across Southeast Texas are here to guide you through the process. Your reasons for seeking divorce are valid, and understanding the legal foundations will help you navigate this challenging terrain.

As we dust off our boots and prepare to ride off into the Texan sunset, let’s recap our journey through the Lone Star divorce frontier.

Short Answer: So, what did we learn about the grounds for divorce in Texas? Well, it’s a rodeo of reasons, from living apart for eons to proving your spouse had a secret bank-draining side affair.

But why should you remember all this? Because, dear reader, divorces aren’t just legalities; they’re stories of resilience, growth, and new beginnings.

As we’ve meandered through child custody, property division, spousal support, and more, remember this: You’re not alone on this Texas-sized adventure. From the bustling streets of Houston to the quiet countryside, folks across the Lone Star State face similar dilemmas.

So, whether you’re sipping sweet tea in San Antonio or savoring barbecue in Austin, know that the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, and fellow Texans are here to guide you through the twists and turns of Texas divorce.

As the sun sets on our Lone Star tangle adventure, remember that with knowledge and the right support, you can lasso the challenges of divorce and ride into your own Texan sunset of new beginnings. Yeehaw!

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