Even before couples decide whether they can negotiate their own settlement, the person filing has to decide whether they want a no-fault divorce or a divorce based on specific legal grounds. If you want to file a no-fault divorce, you file your petition on the ground of insupportability.
Basically, you claim that you can no longer maintain the marriage because of personal differences that are impossible to overcome. Most couples use this approach because it removes the obligation to prove certain claims to secure a divorce.
However, people in specific family situations could have the right to file a fault-based divorce. You can file for fault-based divorce when you can claim cruelty, adultery, a felony conviction, abandonment, living apart or confinement in a mental hospital for at least three years.
Why do people file for a divorce based on grounds?
If you choose any reason for filing other than insupportability, you will need to present evidence to the courts to support your allegations. Obviously, it will be much easier to provide evidence of incarceration due to a felony conviction or hospitalization in the mental facility than it will be to conclusively prove cruelty or adultery.
Needing to collect and present evidence about marital misconduct will increase the amount of preparation for your divorce and how much it costs you. There are many reasons why people choose to pursue a fault-based divorce in Texas despite the extra work required.
Many faiths make it a sin to intentionally end a marriage. Filing a fault-based divorce that shows one spouse left the other with no choice because they violated their vows could protect someone’s position in their faith community.
There are also practical reasons to consider fault-based divorce. If you have agreed to a penalty clause in a marital agreement that involves your spouse paying support or giving you more marital assets because of their misconduct, proving their misbehavior in court can benefit you.
A fault-based divorce can help convince the courts to consider one spouse’s special requests during divorce proceedings. A divorce stemming from abandonment, for example, might help convince the court to give one parent sole custody of the children. Infidelity and incarceration-based divorces could help protect the filing spouse from the financial and legal consequences of their spouse’s misconduct.
Exploring whether your situation meets the criteria for a fault-based divorce in Texas can help you decide if pursuing one is the right choice.