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What Constitutes Cruelty in Divorce in Texas?

If you feel that your spouse is cruel to you, you might be thinking about using it as grounds for divorce. But what constitutes cruelty in divorce in Texas, and does mental or emotional cruelty count? If so, how can you prove it? Here’s what you need to know as you make plans to meet with a lawyer before filing for divorce in Texas.

What Constitutes Cruelty in Divorce in Texas?

If you want to use cruelty as grounds for divorce in Texas, you must show that the cruel treatment is bad enough that continuing to live with your spouse is insupportable. There are a few different types of cruelty, and as you might guess, physical cruelty is typically the easiest to prove.

What about other types of cruelty?

  • Is verbal abuse grounds for divorce?
  • Is emotional abuse grounds for divorce?

If you can prove the emotional or mental cruelty, you will have grounds for divorce in Texas.

If you need help figuring out how to document verbal abuse for divorce, or if you want to know how to prove emotional abuse in a divorce in Texas, contact The Moffett Law Firm divorce attorneys in Houston for the answers you need.

What Is a Fault-Based Divorce?

how to prove mental cruelty in divorce

Texas allows for both no-fault and fault-based divorce cases. With fault-based divorce, you must show that your spouse is the reason you’re ending the marriage.

Some of the reasons you can use are adultery, abandonment, imprisonment, insanity, or mental cruelty. With the latter, you need to prove that your spouse has offended, humiliated, or embarrassed you so much that you cannot keep living with him or her and need a fault-based divorce.

Is Mental Cruelty Grounds for Divorce in Texas?

Mental cruelty can be grounds for divorce in this state. However, it is notoriously hard to prove, which is why lawyers often recommend using other grounds for divorce if possible.

If mental cruelty is your only reason for divorce—and you fail to prove your case—your divorce might be denied by the court. If you can think of any other grounds for divorce that would apply to your case, you should consider choosing to use that instead of mental cruelty.

How to Prove Mental Cruelty in Divorce in Texas

what constitutes cruelty in divorce in Texas?

Proving mental cruelty in a divorce may be hard, but it’s not impossible. You can start by documenting the incidents as they occur, ensuring you get all the details on paper.

If the mental cruelty has ever led to physical suffering, gather any hospital or doctor records for your case. If the cruelty caused you to call the police to protect yourself, get a copy of the police report. Additionally, if anyone ever witnessed the mental cruelty toward you, let your lawyer know you have witnesses who can provide statements.

As you can see, proving mental cruelty in a divorce can be difficult. You may have to go to trial since your spouse has the right to defend himself or herself. If this might be too much for you to bear, a no-fault divorce may be a better path for you. In general, Texas lawyers only advise clients to pursue divorce on the grounds of cruelty if they are attempting to get a larger share of the marital property—more than 50 percent—or a smaller share of the debt. In such cases, the results may be worth the effort involved in proving mental cruelty in a divorce.

If you still have questions, contact The Moffett Law Firm today for help with your divorce matters.


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