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In Texas, we have “no fault” grounds for divorce and several “fault” grounds for divorce. The difference between obtaining a divorce on a “no fault” ground versus a “fault” ground is that in many cases, fault grounds are plead for in the Original Petition for Divorce so that the spouse who has been wronged based on one or more of the fault grounds, can use that fault as a factor in requesting that the Court award him/her a larger portion of the community estate and further, as a factor in determining spousal maintenance, if eligible.

No Fault Grounds: A divorce based on one of the following no-fault grounds can be obtained without proof that either the husband or the wife was at fault for the break-up of the marriage:

1. Insupportability: The marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marital relationship and if there is no reasonable expectation of reconciliation.

2. Living Apart: If the spouses have lived apart without cohabitation for at least 3 years.

3. Confinement in a mental hospital: One spouse has been confined in a state mental hospital or private mental hospital in this state or another state for at least 3 years and if that spouse’s mental disorder is of such a degree and nature that adjustment is unlikely or that, if adjustment occurs, a relapse is probable.

Fault Grounds: A divorce based on one of these 4 “fault” grounds listed below means that either the husband or the wife are at fault for the breakup of the marriage. The fault grounds provided for in the Texas Family Code are as follows:

1. Cruelty

2. Adultery

3. Conviction of a Felony

4. Abandonment

For more information, please contact Patricia J. Dixon.

See Texas Family Code Sections 6.001 – 6.007 for the no-fault and fault grounds for divorce mentioned in this post:  http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/FA/htm/FA.6.htm