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What are the legal grounds for divorce in Texas?

Divorce has become increasingly common in Texas and across the United States. While the end of a marriage is a frequent occurrence, many might not be aware of certain divorce legal issues that must be dealt with. State law mandates that there be grounds for divorce for the proceeding to move forward. There are seven grounds for divorce including insupportability, cruelty, adultery, conviction of a felony, abandonment, living apart and confinement in a mental hospital.

With insupportability, the court can grant a divorce with no regard to fault if the marriage is no longer supportable due to the personalities destroying the legitimacy of the relationship and there is no reasonable belief that a reconciliation is possible. Cruelty allows the court to grant the divorce in one spouse's favor if it finds that the other spouse committed cruelty against the other making the prospect of the couple remaining together untenable. Divorce can be granted due to adultery if one spouse committed the act.

With felony convictions, the court has the power to allow a divorce if the spouse was convicted of a felony; has been incarcerated for a minimum of one year in Texas, is in a federal prison, or is in a prison in another state; or was not granted a pardon. This section cannot be used against a spouse whose conviction was based on the other spouse's testimony. Abandonment is an allowable ground for divorce if the other spouse left with the intention to abandon and has been away for a minimum of one year.

If the couple is living separately, the court can grant a divorce in favor of either one of the spouses if they have not been cohabiting for a minimum of three years. If a spouse was confined to a mental hospital for a minimum of three years and the hospitalized spouse has a mental disorder that is so severe that improvement is not likely or a relapse will probably happen, this is sufficient grounds for divorce.

Speaking to a lawyer experienced in divorce can help those who are planning to end their marriage understand and adhere to the law.

Source:, "Chapter 6. Suit For Dissolution Of Marriage -- Subchapter A.," accessed on Nov. 17, 2015

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