Grounds for Divorce in Texas
Under most modern legal systems, getting out of a marriage is much more difficult than entering marriage. Whereas you can form a marriage for any or no reason, there still remains, at least as a formality, a requirement to state reasons for a separation. In Texas, there are seven situations considered to be acceptable grounds for divorce.
The most popular reason given for a separation is “insupportability.” This has become a standard catch-all banner under which most divorcing couples rally. It is the same as reason given in the tabloids and movies as “irreconcilable differences.” In legal terms, this exit door means that no one is at fault. Rather, it is the stark differences in personalities or identities between the couple that are at fault and a peaceable union has practically become impossible due to these supposed differences. In layman’s terms, it usually means that there is no single particular reason for the end of the marriage – the couple simply doesn’t want it to continue.
The other reasons designate the fault lying in the camp of one or the other spouse. The state of Texas grants recourse to those in dire situations through the agency of divorce, and abuse or “cruelty” is one reason whereby the aggrieved spouse may file for separation. In fact, an abusive relationship is one of the few situations where a judge may expedite the divorce proceedings (which can usually take months). By the same token, infidelity in the form of adultery is another reason a lawful union may be broken.
A third category for approved reasons for divorce is simply separate living. A spouse who is been away in jail on a felony may be divorced by the abandoned party. Simple abandonment for the period of one year is grounds for being granted a divorce. Even without one or the other spouse being blamed, a physical separation, wherein the two parties live apart without cohabitation for more than three years, is grounds for cessation of a marriage in the eyes of Texas courts. This same length of time is required for one to petition to separate from a mentally ill spouse. If a person is institutionalized for at least three years and it appears that recovery is unlikely or relapse is eminent, then this is one of the reasons a divorce will be permitted by the courts.
You should consult with your lawyer to determine the most appropriate reason for divorce which applies to your situation. The courts are in the business of dispensing justice, and if you are aggrieved in some way by your spouse, then it is in your best interest to file for divorce on the most appropriate grounds possible. Most people will end up choosing the general-purpose “irreconcilable differences” route. However, if your situation more closely matches one of the other reasons, then it is usually important to make this clear to the courts. This will allow you to receive the justice you seek more swiftly than you may otherwise.