Legal Grounds For Divorce
According to Texas law, there are seven statutory grounds for divorce. These statutory grounds serve as the basis for which one can file for divorce, most of which require the finding of fault on one of the spouses involved. With that in mind, these are the seven statutory grounds that will allow a judge to grant a divorce:
- If the marriage has become insupportable because of conflict or general discord. Both parties must agree that this conflict or discord prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation. If granted, this will result in a "no-fault" divorce.
- Cruelty by one spouse toward the other that renders living or remaining together unsupportable.
- If one spouse abandons the other for at least one year.
- If one spouse commits adultery.
- If one spouse commits a felony and has been imprisoned for at least one year in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, a federal penitentiary, or the penitentiary of another state and has not been pardoned.
- If the couple has lived apart without cohabitation for at least three years.
- If, at the time of filing for divorce, one of the spouses has been confined to a state mental hospital or private mental hospital in Texas or any other state for at least three years and it appears that the mental disorder is unlikely to improve.
If any one of these statutory grounds can be proven to the court, a divorce will likely be granted. The court may take fault into account when determining what is an equitable, or fair, division of marital property. For that reason, you may want to include fault grounds in your petition for divorce.
Texas is considered a community property state, which means that the court may divide marital property in a manner that is deemed just while having regard for the rights of each party and any children involved. Any property that has been acquired by either spouse outside the state of Texas will be deemed community property if the property would have been considered community property had it had been acquired in Texas. In addition to all property that is deemed community property, the court will also determine the rights of both spouses when distributing the following:
- Retirement Plans and IRAs
- Stock Options and Employee Stock Option Plans
- Insurance Policies
- All other forms of savings or claims for reimbursement
The court can also consider whether a specific asset will be subject to taxation. If it is, the court will then decide when the tax will be required to be paid when ordering the division of the marital estate.
You don't have to face this challenge alone.
At the end of the day, divorce proceedings can be extremely complex and will only become more complicated if you don't have an experienced divorce attorney advocating on your behalf. If you or someone you know is facing a difficult divorce situation, call The Matthew Law Firm today and find out how I can help guide you through the process step by step.