Attorneys experienced in handling
Complex family law matters

What Are the Grounds for Filing for Divorce in Texas?

After the wedding bells have stopped ringing and the cake is long gone, marriage is often not what a couple thought it would be. It can take a matter of years or simply weeks to realize there is no hope for the union and it would be better for both parties to move forward with their lives, separately from one another.

Divorce is never easy, but with proper representation, it can be a much smoother transition. Reasons for divorce in Texas can be many, so it’s important to have someone on your side who understands the law, knows your rights, and can explain what to expect when it comes to grounds for divorce.

Each state in the U.S. has their own rules about divorce, so it’s important to understand what the valid reasons for divorce in Texas encompass. For couples who can agree, for contested divorce cases, or where there are unusual circumstances, there are seven grounds for divorce in Texas. Some of these grounds don’t require proof, but in some cases, the courts may want proof of what has happened or what the other party has done.

An experienced Houston divorce lawyer can help prepare you and influence a positive outcome to your divorce court case.

What Are the Grounds for Filing Divorce in Texas?

So, what are grounds for divorce in Texas? Divorces in Texas are referred to as fault-based, except for one, the no-fault or insupportability divorce case. Divorces are based on what the court feels are legitimate reasons for divorce, of which there are currently seven grounds for divorce in Texas.

Living Apart

Married couples can live apart for many reasons. One might get a job in another city, and the marriage can’t survive the distance. Perhaps the marriage might not be going well and living apart seems like the best solution at the time.

Whatever the reason, during this time some couples can try to work things out, but it just might not happen. If this is the case, after living apart for three years the courts will grant a divorce.

Confinement in a Mental Hospital

Mental disorders can devastate any family, but when you are married to someone who is exhibiting mental illness, it can be difficult at best. If a spouse is diagnosed and admitted into a mental hospital, it can be grounds for divorce.

The spouse must be in a public or private mental hospital for three years with no reasonable cure expected, or they must have a disorder that is proven to relapse. This is a difficult situation but if there is no sign of improvement on the horizon, carrying on with your life without your spouse may be the only viable option.


Spousal cruelty can take on many forms. Some of these can include physical abuse, mental abuse, verbal abuse, and even pet abuse. Anything that makes a person uncomfortable and puts them in a state of fear for themselves, their children, or animals is not a desirable place to be.

No one wants to be belittled, and people who demonstrate this type of behavior are often unable or unwilling to change. Divorce is often the only answer when the mental cruelty grounds for divorce have been established.


Abandonment is just like it sounds. It’s when a spouse leaves with no intention to return. Before filing for divorce, the spouse must have been gone for at least one year, but as soon as that year is up the courts will hear the petitioner’s case before granting a divorce.

Conviction of a Felony

seven grounds for divorce in Texas

Felonies are serious crimes that can often include violence. They are typically punishable with time in prison lasting more than a year, or in the worst-case scenario, being put on death row. When a spouse is convicted of a felony, is imprisoned for more than one year, and has not received a pardon, it is considered grounds for divorce in Texas.


The act of adultery is hard enough to deal with on an emotional level, but a betrayal of this sort often comes with joint money spent by the adulterer. The children may have felt temporarily abandoned, or the spouse may have been hearing lies for years.

This is never an easy situation to deal with, and divorce is often the result. Filing for divorce in Texas is often a natural outcome of this situation.


Many people ask – what does insupportability mean in a divorce?  Though the term “support” frequently deals with money, this isn’t the case with insupportability.

When it comes to legitimate reasons for divorce, one of the most common grounds for divorce in Texas is the no-fault divorce, or insupportability, which simply means both parties have willingly agreed to the divorce. They no longer wish to support one another or the marriage.

This type of divorce is usually easy and quick, with both parties agreeing on things like splitting assets without the need for property division lawyers, who the children will live with, amount of child support, what visitation right are, etc.

Why You Need a Qualified Lawyer Fighting for Your Rights

valid reasons for divorce in Texas

Whether you and your spouse are amicable or fighting like cats and dogs, divorce isn’t easy on anyone. To best prepare yourself, it’s important to retain the services of a lawyer who is qualified to represent you and will fight for what you deserve. In cases of insupportability, these things are often dealt with easily, and the parties usually agree to a split of everything equally.

Legal grounds for divorce other than insupportability can mean fighting for the division of property or assets and deciding custody the children. A fair and reasonable amount of child support also needs to be decided upon. These are the times you need quality representation from Houston child custody lawyers like the ones at The Moffett Law Firm.

Courts will often determine who gets what percentage of dividable property or custody of the children based on the reason for the divorce. For example, if the spouse was cheating and spending excessive money on their new love interest, the courts may be willing to give the petitioner a greater percentage of assets in the divorce.

Although not common, courts have awarded up to 80/20 or even 90/10 percent splits. These types of divisions on money and assets can determine a lifetime of changes impacting the future, so it’s important to get it settled right the first time. Having a lawyer who understands Texas divorce law means you will have someone fighting for your rights and getting the most you can for your case.

If you’re facing divorce and want to discuss your case with a qualified lawyer, we invite you to contact The Moffett Law Firm today. We specialize in divorce cases and have years of experience practicing family law in Texas. We understand each case is unique and we are prepared to fight for your rights, getting you a settlement you deserve.

Contact us today