Author: Jeff Anderson
Divorce is never easy. It’s worse when one spouse doesn’t want to get divorced. In Texas, if one spouse wants a divorce, the great likelihood is that there will be one.
There is a possibility, small though it may be, that a Judge could deny a divorce. At the end of each divorce, there are statutory requirements for testimony that must be taken and, indeed, proven. In particular, grounds for divorce must be proven along with no reasonable expectation of reconciliation.
Texas is a no-fault divorce state, which means that a divorce may be granted even if there is no fault by either side. Many people think of this as “irreconcilable differences”. In Texas, we call it discord or conflict of personalities that defeats the legitimate ends of the marriage relationship.
The other grounds for divorce listed in the Texas family code are as follows:
- A spouse is guilty of cruel treatment toward the other spouse of a nature that renders further living together insupportable;
- A spouse has committed adultery;
- A spouse has been convicted of a felony and been imprisoned for at least one year by the Texas Department of Criminal justice, a federal penitentiary, or the penitentiary of another state and has not been pardoned (unless that spouse was convicted on the testimony of the other spouse);
- A spouse has left the other spouse with the intention of abandonment and stayed away for at least one year;
- The spouses have lived apart without cohabitation for at least three years; or
- A spouse, at the time the divorce was filed, has been confined in a state mental hospital or private mental hospital for at least three years.
If the two parties disagree on either the grounds or the expectation of reconciliation, either or both of those issues may be submitted to the Court. Should the Judge find that there are no grounds, then the divorce may be denied. A Court can conceivably find that there is no discord or conflict of personalities which defeats the legitimate ends of the marriage relationship (the no-fault grounds) if that Judge becomes convinced that the marriage is viable.
To that same degree, if the Judge finds that there is a reasonable expectation of reconciliation, the divorce will not be granted.
It should be stressed that an attempt to convince a Court that a divorce should not be granted is a statistical long-shot at best. Of the tens of thousands of divorces filed each year, virtually none of them are denied because one of the spouses does not want the divorce.