Texas is a “no-fault” state which means no one party must be at fault for a divorce to happen. There are many ways a party can be found “at-fault” for a divorce if they can be proving the other party’s conduct. Below are a few signs a person should be on the lookout for if they believe they are headed for a divorce. These are just a few to keep in mind if you notice these may pertain to you, but there can be many other factors to a marriage demise.
Adultery is a main reason people end up getting a divorce. Adultery is when a sexual relationship aside from the marriage takes place. If you can prove adultery it can potentially have an impact on things such as child support or spousal support. Adultery can either be proved with direct evidence or circumstantial evidence. Direct evidence is first hand evidence like photos, videos, or even your spouse admitting he has had a non marital affair. Circumstantial evidence is indirect evidence that may show that your spouse has committed adultery like bank account statements, phone records, texts/emails, and other records that show the interaction between your spouse and another. If you believe your spouse is partaking in an extramarital affair it is important to continually document and retain any evidence whether direct or circumstantial that will help prove so.
Another sign that is common to recognize a divorce may be in your near future is if your spouse has begun to alienate themselves from you. Alienation of affection or constructive abandonment happens when a spouse has begun to detach themselves from the marriage, often due to a third party. As a result, you may notice changes in your partner like a diminished sexual interest, resulting in a sexless marriage. Another sign that can go hand in hand with alienation is living apart. It is part of a new trend known as “Living Apart Together” that some couples do to strengthen their relationship while they are away from each other. It’s the equivalent of the saying “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” While this is true, the demise of most marriages can have their start by living apart. Some spouses believe moving apart can be the equivalent of a divorce, but legally has no such effect. One client had been separated and living apart from his wife for over three years, and was ready to remarry, but he technically was still legally married to his wife. If you have lived apart for sometimes this is a ground for divorce and should be considered.
If not one of the most common reasons, people decide to go their separate ways because of outstanding debts. Debts in a marriage can take its toll on a spouse and is the source of many disagreements. This is especially true if there is a disparity of earning power of the spouses and their ability to support themselves. This means that one spouse may bring in more of the community income or maybe all. This has become a huge factor in divorces where one spouse is the breadwinner and why it is not always 50/50 split in a divorce. Considering the parties earning power and capacities is necessary if there is to be an unequal division of the community estate. Wasting community assets too can be another ground for divorce if one party is disproportionately using the community assets. For instance, one client moved from the marital home with his mistress. While living with her he was using community assets to pay for their living expenses and luxurious frequent vacations. Had he remained in the marital home he wouldn’t have incurred those living expenses, but instead wasted community assets for his extramarital affair.
Another ground for divorce is if the marriage has been founded on fraud. If for instance, a spouse misrepresents themselves so grossly that the marriage would not have occurred if the truth had been known at the time, a spouse has been deceived. Some good examples of this are when people lie about who they are, if they have had any previous marriages, or if they have children. If a spouse can prove this fraud, they may be entitled to a larger share of the community property. Fraud can go hand in hand with criminal convictions. If your spouse has committed crimes, it can be a reason for the divorce if you can prove your spouse has been convicted of an illegal offense. For example, I once had a potential client come in for a consultation. She explained her husband was currently in an ongoing criminal case for sexual assault of a minor. Embarrassed by his actions she decided she could not support him through this and knew it was the main cause for their split. Criminal convictions and if your spouse has been imprisoned are good signs it may be time for a divorce.
The health of your spouse can have a major impact on your marriage. While medical conditions are something that a spouse can not always be in control of, spouses that have alcohol and drug addictions may signal a divorce. Substance abuse is a serious and traumatic experience for marriage or family. Alcoholism can create a higher risk for domestic violence and is a leading cause of diminished relationships. Likewise, drug abuse can lead to severe addictions that can affect a family in many forms. It is hard to watch your loved ones lose themselves to their addiction and that can have an effect on familial relationships. Addictions can lead to violence and worse an addict’s death. If you are in a relationship with health issues or substance abuse it is important to consider your mental health and understand what a priority in your relationship is.
These signs are the most obvious that a marriage may not be at its healthiest, but they are certainly not the only reason people get a divorce. These major signs are the red flags that should not be dismissed, and if one or more of these relate to you it is evident you may have evident grounds for divorce.
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Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Houston, Texas Divorce Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it's important to speak with one of our Houston, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
Our divorce lawyers in Houston TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC handles Divorce cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.