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Cruelty as grounds for divorce in Texas

When it comes to getting a divorce in Texas, there are multiple ways to go about the process. The first is also the most common. That would be to simply file a petition for divorce stating that you are doing so on account of irreconcilable differences or a conflict in personality between you and your spouse. This simply means that the two of you can no longer get along and you do not foresee any chance of reconciliation or mending of fences. The relationship has reached a terminal stage and as a result, you are asking for a divorce.

The second method of obtaining a divorce in Texas is to specify a specific fault ground for divorce. Fault grounds allow you to list a specific reason why you are asking for a divorce. Those fault grounds include things like adultery, abandonment, fraud, and cruelty. Sometimes when circumstances in your marriage progress to the point where one of these grounds for divorce is valid you can help yourself by alleging a fault ground. By doing so you open up certain advantages within the case to both you and your family.

However, more goes into proving a particular fault ground for divorce than simply stating the fault ground in your original petition. Rather, you need to be able to not only make an allegation for fault ground but also provide sufficient evidence to a court to show that the fault ground is valid. This is where the circumstances of your life and the law in Texas intersect. Unless you are prepared to go about making this sort of argument for yourself and providing evidence to a court on your own, you will likely need to hire an experienced family law attorney to help you in this regard.

 If that is the case, then we recommend that you contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan today to find out more about fault grounds for divorce and how your case may be impacted by these types of allegations. families across Southeast Texas have come to rely upon the Law Office of Bryan Fagan when it comes to able to find competent and trustworthy representatives. No matter what stage of the planning process you find yourself in the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan can talk to you about your options and discuss with you the advantages that having an experienced family law attorney can provide you with.

We offer free of charge consultations six days a week at our three Houston area office locations, over the phone, and via video. No matter where you are physically in Southeast Texas, we can accommodate you and are ready to meet with you today. The first step towards finding Peace of Mind regarding the divorce process is to reach out to our office to learn more about the divorce process in Texas and where you and your family stand regarding your specific circumstances.

The information contained in this blog post is intended to provide you with a general degree of knowledge. We want you to be able to understand more about the law in Texas and how the circumstances you are facing me be impacted by the law. However, without knowing the specifics of your situation it would be impossible for us to try to give you any specialized degree of information. With that said, meeting with one of our experienced family law attorneys can provide you with an opportunity to ask questions and receive helpful information. Our attorney will take the time to speak with you about whatever you're facing and then can work with you on developing a specialized plan for representation if you decide to go ahead in higher our law office to represent you in a divorce.

In today's blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, we will be discussing the fault ground for divorce known as cruelty. Often known as a cruel treatment, cruelty can be a meaningful fault ground for divorce in conjunction with other circumstances in your life. Before you move forward with the divorce case, you can certainly take the time to learn about this fault ground and the impact it may have on your case period from there, you can reach out to one of our experienced family law attorneys to learn more about the divorce process in Texas.

Cruelty as grounds for divorce in Texas 

If you believe that your spouse has been acting cruelly towards you then there is a distinct possibility that you should consider utilizing cruelty as a ground for divorce. Beyond filing for divorce, however, you need to learn what it means to engage in cruel treatment with your spouse. Additionally, wild cruel treatment certainly covers physical harm to a person you should also consider the possibility that cruel treatment may take into consideration things like hurtful words or threatening language. The mental and emotional impacts of cruel treatment can be enough to greatly impact your life. As a result, we want to talk about what cruel treatment actually is and how it can impact your divorce potentially.

Another consideration that you should be thinking about at this time is how to prove cruel treatment. As we alluded to at the beginning of today's blog post, it is not enough to simply tell a court that your spouse engaged in cruel treatment. Rather, you need to be able to produce evidence to show that the cruel treatment occurred and that it adversely impacted you and your marriage. This can be a significant burden to bear in one that you need to be prepared to show a court that you can meet. 

Cruelty comes in a variety of forms. In a way, it is awkward to have to discuss this topic as if it were a flavor of ice cream. However, bearing in mind that cruelty can play a significant role in your divorce we need to be able to walk through the types of cruelty as best we can to show just how this type of behavior can adversely affect you in your marriage. 

From the standpoint of trying to prove cruelty, physical cruelty is usually the easiest to come up with concrete evidence of bad behavior. This could consist of bruising or other injuries sustained on your physical person that was caused by your spouse. Police reports, photographs, hospital records, and other tangible evidence can be part of the process of proving physical cruelty. Attending a hearing in front of a judge where you show him or her the actual bruising and injuries that you have sustained it could also suffice as far as proving cruel treatment.

Emotional in psychological cruelty can also be grounds for divorce in Texas. However, it is more difficult to utilize this as your fault ground for a divorce because providing a court with evidence of words that were used which constitute cruel behavior can be much more difficult than showing cruel behavior on your spouse’s part in a physical sense. Documenting and keeping a record of the verbal abuse that you have suffered during your marriage is key if you want to prove cruelty based on emotional or psychological harm to you. You can keep a journal entry or even a calendar of the abuse if you have time to prepare.

Why does a fault grounds divorce matter?

At this stage of the game, you may be asking yourself why it even makes sense to go through the trouble of trying to prove a particular fault ground for divorce. After all, Texas is a no-fault divorce state which means that you do not have to allege a particular fault ground for divorce to end your marriage period you can simply tell the court that there are irreconcilable differences in that conflict of personalities and a judge will grant your divorce as a result. However, you may also be justified in presenting a particular fault ground for divorce within your petition.  Rather than simply stating that you have outgrown the relationship or something to that effect, you would need to prove that your spouse is the specific reason why you need to get divorced. 

When it comes to cruelty on a mental or psychological level, you would need to show that your spouse has made a fool of you or embarrassed you to the degree where living with him or she is no longer an option. Words can hurt a great deal. If your spouse has said something hurtful about your appearance, behavior, family, or religion then These words may constitute cruel treatment. The key is what impact it had on you, the results of that impact, and your ability to prove it in a courtroom.

As you may have expected at this stage, being able to prove mental cruelty can be a considerable challenge. If you plan to file a divorce petition and utilize cruelty as a ground for divorce it would be simpler to prove physical cruelty rather than emotional or verbal. We have already seen how evidence of physical cruelty can and usually is more obvious and much easier to document. Verbal cruelty oftentimes comes down to he said, she said the situation involving specific circumstances of your family. If your only plan is to assert verbal cruelty as your grounds for divorce, then you may want to reconsider your plan and determine whether fault grounds are going to be your best path forward to get your divorce case started.

How can you go about proving mental cruelty in your divorce?

This is probably the most practical question to ask when it comes to going through a divorce. It bears mentioning at this stage that the circumstances of your case will be important as far as being able to prove fault grounds for divorce. Every one of you reading this blog post finds yourself in a different situation regarding your divorce. It is not as simple as telling a judge that certain words made an impact on you. The same word said to you may have a much more profound impact than the same word said to me or vice versa. As a result, what may constitute cruel treatment in your divorce may not constitute cruel treatment in your neighbor’s divorce. You need to consider, as objectively as possible, what your situation looks like from the outside and how it can be perceived in connection to your case.

Putting your experiences on paper can be the most effective way to show a court that you have endured cruel verbal treatment. Keeping a calendar with specific words used, the location knows what words were used and any potential witnesses to the behavior is a good start. The longer that the verbal cruelty has occurred the likely better off you will be in terms of being able to prove those grounds. Do not underestimate the importance of having witnesses and documenting these incidents. Without proper documentation, your allegations of cruelty can lose a lot of their importance. The last thing you want to do is withstand cruelty only to find that you failed to document those incidents sufficiently to prove them in a courtroom.

When it comes to physical cruelty, there are likely going to be photographs, hospital records, and a range of other tangible evidence that you can use in your case. Hopefully, you have involved the police and put any incidents of cruelty down on paper. Obtaining the statements of people involved in these acts of cruelty can be helpful to be able to show a judge that there is an objective perspective regarding these incidents and not just your recollection.

Alleging cruel treatment in an original divorce petition is something that is likely going to be met with a great deal of resistance by your spouse. It does not happen very often that a spouse on the other side of a cruel treatment allegation does not attempt to defend themselves and make counter allegations of some sort. You may find yourself in a back-and-forth battle of he said, she said regarding cruel treatment. You may even find that your spouse attempts to make an argument that you engage in the cruel treatment, as well.

In a case where you and your spouse cannot agree on much of anything regarding the circumstances that led to your divorce, you may be looking at a trial if it becomes necessary to be able to prove a fault ground like cruel treatment. He will not simply be able to allege cruel treatment in your original petition for divorce and then move along your way. You can expect that your spouse will not only deny the allegation in their answer but will also make counter allegations in a counter-petition for divorce. This creates a general tone of animosity at the beginning of a divorce in a situation that has already fraught with anger.

At this stage of a case, you may want to consider just what you making an allegation of cruelty seeks to accomplish in the grand scheme of your case. For many people, proving a fault ground for divorce can make a huge difference in your case. For example, the most common way that a fault ground will impact your divorce case is regarding A disproportionate division of your community estate. This means that if you can successfully prove a certain fault ground for divorce then you may be entitled to receiving greater than 50% of your community estate. This is a major advantage when you consider that an equal or equitable division of your community state is the most frequent outcome of a divorce case.

However, if you are in a situation where you and your spouse own very little in terms of Community property and have no children then your potential upside for having to prove a fault ground for divorce simply may not exist. That doesn't mean that you haven't gone through something difficult, but it does mean that you need to consider what you stand to gain from making the allegation of cruelty and then ultimately having to prove it.

As we mentioned at the beginning of today's blog post, the specific circumstances of your divorce are incredibly important when it comes to making any allegation of fault grounds specifically here when we are talking about cruel treatment. To learn more about the world of Texas divorce cases as well as how the law intersects with your life and family you can reach out to the experienced family law attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. In a free-of-charge consultation, you can ask questions and receive feedback that may provide you with some answers to questions that have been on your mind for quite some time.

Questions about the material contained in today's blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan

If you have any questions about the material contained in today's blog post please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free of charge consultations six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video.

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