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What is no-fault divorce?

On Behalf of | May 8, 2023 | Firm News

For many couples, there is no one dramatic behavior or action of their spouse that leads to the desire for a divorce. In some cases, people just grow apart, and there is no longer a wish to remain together. These marriages can be dissolved relatively simply with a no-fault divorce.

Texas, like many other states across the United States, allows couples to request a no-fault divorce. A no-fault divorce allows for a couple to end their divorce without having to allege that one of them was at fault for the end of the marriage. Historically, a couple needed to have a spouse at fault in order for one of them to request a divorce, however, nowadays many states like Texas have removed that requirement.

No-fault divorce gives couples an easier way to separate

Under Texas law, when a couple wishes to separate, they can choose to pursue a no-fault divorce due to irreconcilable differences or an irreparable breakdown of the marriage relationship. This allows either spouse to submit their petition to the court, and it is generally a smoother process that allows for the filing spouse to exit the marriage quickly.

Typical issues such as child custody, asset distribution, and spousal support may still arise and need to be addressed by the court. Just because neither spouse has to allege fault, in some cases a spouse might still do so because it can impact these issues as well.

How fault can still be alleged in a Texas divorce

If a spouse still wishes to file for a fault-based divorce, there are specific grounds that they will need to prove. These can include adultery, cruelty or domestic abuse, the spouse being imprisoned, sexual impotency, abandonment of the marriage, and lack of mental capacity.

If the spouse is able to prove these grounds, they may qualify for a greater share of the marital assets, and the presiding judge may deal more favorably with the not-at-fault spouse when determining spousal maintenance or child support.