Fault in Divorce

Most divorce cases in Texas are filed on a no-fault basis. Yes, you may divorce your spouse with absolutely no explanation whatsoever. A no-fault divorce essentially means that spouses don’t have to prove to the court that their marital conditions warrant the granting of a divorce.

A divorce in Texas may also be granted in favor of a spouse on fault grounds. There are four distinct categories for filing a fault-based divorce in Texas:

  • Cruelty
  • Adultery
  • Felony conviction
  • Abandonment

Cruelty may include physical abuse, mental abuse, and inhumane circumstances. Talk to your lawyer about any abusive, mean or degrading thing your spouse has put you through in your marriage. Sometimes the small things add up to one extremely cruel relationship.

Adultery is defined as “the voluntary sexual intercourse of a married person with one not the husband or wife of the offender.” In proving adultery, the wife or husband must have more than just a feeling that the other spouse has committed adultery. However, the judge can look to other evidence that proves that the spouse is guilty of committing adultery. Direct evidence of adultery would include walking in on your spouse in the middle of an act or even hiring a private investigator. But incriminating texts, receipts for meals/hotels, telephone records and other evidence can also be used to show beyond a doubt that adultery was committed.

You may also ask for a fault-based divorce if your spouse was convicted of a felony and imprisoned for one year.

To prove abandonment, you must show that your spouse voluntarily left, had the intention of never returning, and stayed away for one year.

Proving a fault ground for divorce is beneficial because fault is a factor that the court can consider when making a division of the marital estate and in awarding spousal maintenance.

Showing that your spouse’s behavior is the basis for your divorce can mean more money in your pocket at the end of the divorce. We at Orsinger, Nelson, Downing & Anderson have the experience necessary to answer any questions you may have regarding finding fault in your divorce.