Proving Fault Can Still Matter in Texas, Other No-Fault Divorce States

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Divorce in Texas can be fairly simple. As one of several so-called “no fault divorce” states, it’s not necessary to prove – as a ground for divorce – that one spouse or the other specifically caused or is to blame for a marriage breaking down. The majority of divorces in Texas are granted based on contentions by one or both spouses that the union is simply beyond repair based on unspecified discord and personality conflicts.
Seeking a no fault divorce makes good sense in many cases in Texas, but in some situations it’s still preferable to seek a divorce based on proving fault.
Fault-based claims usually include cruelty and adultery. Other grounds for finding fault include being incarcerated for a felony conviction, abandonment for at least a year, separation for at least three years, and confinement in a mental hospital for at least three years.
Proving fault in a divorce is also important because Texas is a community property state, meaning that assets acquired during a marriage are divided in a “just and right manner” between the two spouses upon divorce. The court considers many factors when it makes this “just and right” division, and fault is one of them. If the judge makes a finding of fault, the court may then award a larger portion of the community property to a spouse who was not at fault.