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When infidelity is an issue, a fault divorce may be the way to go

by | May 19, 2019 | Firm News |

Married life may have started out great, but over time, your relationship with your spouse started breaking down. At some point, your spouse decided to look elsewhere for companionship. You learned of the infidelity, and now, you are looking at your divorce options.

The State of Texas offers the ability to apply for either a fault or no-fault divorce. You are probably wondering what the difference is between these two. You likely also want to know if there any benefits to choosing a fault divorce over a no-fault divorce. 

In order to file a fault divorce

You may choose to file a fault divorce if you have grounds to do so. Some common grounds cited in fault divorce cases include:

  • Infidelity
  • Abuse/Cruelty
  • Abandonment
  • Incarceration
  • Sexual dysfunction

As you can see, infidelity is at the top of the list, so it is likely something you could use as grounds to file a fault divorce if you choose to go that route. However, if you want to file for this type of divorce, you need to make sure you have actual physical evidence that what you are claiming is true. Without it, a divorce based on fault may not be an effective option.

In order to file a no-fault divorce

Anyone who meets the state residency requirements can file a no-fault divorce. No fault and no reason is needed to request a no-fault divorce. When submitting divorce papers, you will still have to supply grounds for your request to end your marriage. Typically, people cite the irreparable breakdown of the relationship or irreconcilable differences, (“no-fault”). The big difference between a fault and no-fault divorce is that in a no-fault, it is not necessary to provide any proof of fault.

Benefits of a fault divorce

There are several benefits of filing for marital dissolution in this way. There is no separation period required. Finally, it may be possible to get a disproportionately larger percentage of marital assets as part of your divorce settlement. In a community property state, that could be of significant value, depending on the size of the community estate. For example, a proven blatant affair might result in a Court awarding the betrayed spouse an extra 10% of the community estate, thus receiving 60% of the community estate on divorce instead of 50%, as would be typical in an average divorce. In the division of a Million Dollar marital estate, that extra 10% would equate to $100,000.00, but in the division of a Ten-Thousand Dollar estate, 10% of the value of that estate would be only $1,000.00, so a cost-benefit analysis is recommended in order to determine whether pleading and proving a Fault divorce would be worth the extra attorney’s fees and extra cost incurred as a result.

Find out which type of divorce is best for you

The brief explanations of these two different types of divorce may have you really considering your options now. An experienced Board-certified Family Law expert attorney in Collin County, Denton County or elsewhere throughout Texas can help you determine the best option for your situation.