A Texas divorce permanently dissolves a marriage union, divides marital property, establishes child custody, and determines child support payments. Many divorcing couples find themselves at loggerheads with so much on the line. They may disagree on what property is separate and marital, want primary conservatorship (custody) or the children, and seek to redress grievances, such as adultery, domestic violence, or mental cruelty.
Divorce can get ugly. For that reason, you want a detached professional to analyze your situation and advise you on the best route to achieving the desired goal. For example, if having custody of the kids is your priority, a divorce lawyer will develop a strategy for achieving this objective as quickly and painlessly as possible.
How far into the process you need to achieve your aims depends on the circumstances of the case, and whether your former spouse is amenable to your demands. Most cases resolve without a trial. Instead, the couple uses an alternative dispute resolution option or settles before the trial date. Some cases have significant issues which the court can only resolve.
Grounds for Divorce
To divorce in Texas, you must state the grounds. Grounds for divorce does not necessarily mean there is fault. However, if your spouse wronged you, you can seek divorce on those grounds.
Texas law establishes seven grounds for divorce:
Insupportability means that you and your spouse are simply no longer compatible. The differences in your marriage cannot be resolved, though no partner is at fault. Insupportability is equivalent to irreconcilable differences. There is no need to prove fault.
However, if your spouse has done something wrong and harmed you or your children, the most expedient option may be a bad choice. Proving that your spouse is at fault for the divorce can bring a more favorable outcome.
Marital abuse is all too common. Abusive partners engage in various destructive conduct toward their spouse, including controlling behaviors, stalking, emotional and psychological torment, financial abuse, domestic violence, alienation from children and loved ones, and sexual abuse.
No one has to put up with being mistreated. Cruelty gives you grounds for a fault divorce.
Marriage vows are more than romantic gestures. They are legally binding. Your spouse promised to be faithful and then abused your trust. Infidelity gives you grounds for a fault divorce.
Felony Conviction with a Long Prison Sentence
If your spouse is convicted of a felony and must serve more than one year in prison, you have grounds for a fault divorce. The law does not require you to wait while your spouse languishes in prison. You can restart your life anew without them.
But this is a very personal choice. Some spouses choose to stand by their partner while they serve time and may believe the sentence is unjust.
Confinement in a Mental Hospital
As with a period of incarceration of over one year, long-term confinement in a mental hospital allows you to divorce and move on with your life. However, the period of confinement must exceed three years, and your spouse must show no signs of improvement.
The State of Texas recognizes the need for those married in name only to dissolve their union. If you have been living apart from your spouse for at least three years, you have grounds for a divorce.
Spousal abandonment can leave the scorned spouse in desperate financial and emotional condition, especially if there are children. Therefore, it’s important for abandoned spouses to start their lives anew, either as a single person or with a new partner. After one year of abandonment, you can file for divorce.
Divorce Resolution Options
The grounds for divorce have an integral impact on the case. No-fault divorces or those where partners agree about major issues tend to resolve earlier in the process. Contested cases based on fault divorce may require an arbitrator or judge to rule on the terms of the divorce decree.
Settling out of court, through mediation, or utilizing the collaborative divorce approach can bring about a speedier resolution, often with less cost and acrimony.
When partners cannot work together on resolving the divorce, such as when allegations of spousal and child abuse are involved, an adversarial approach may be the only practical one, but regardless of fault, the divorce must eventually be resolved, and an arbitrator or judge makes the ultimate decisions determining property division and child custody.
Don’t Delay, Consult with an Experienced Divorce Lawyer in Dallas, TX
If you are moving toward a divorce, a dedicated Dallas divorce lawyer at Aberdeen Family Law is poised to apply their considerable experience to help you obtain divorce terms that protect you and your children’s future. Your case is important, so please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at (972) 914-3986 today.