Fault Grounds in Divorce
Even though Texas is what’s considered a no-fault state, in which divorcing couples can simply say that they want a divorce and have it granted without stating a party is at fault, there are instances in which a party needs to cite fault or it is beneficial to cite fault. Because Texas courts often base property division and other divorce decisions on fault if it is cited, this can play a major role in your divorce. As such, it is important to know if you qualify to file a fault divorce.
There can be many reasons that you find fault with your spouse and marriage and want it to end. The Houston divorce lawyers of Holmes, Diggs & Sadler are committed to helping you end your divorce in a timely and efficient manner and will fight for your legal rights during all divorce proceedings. To learn more about how to file for a fault divorce or other options, contact us today by calling (713) 802-1777.
Why You Need a Divorce Lawyer
When a marriage ends, you are forced to deal with emotional as well as financial repercussions. In many cases, speaking with a lawyer about your case will significantly reduce the stress and the fear you face during a divorce. An experienced family law attorney will be able to advise you on how best to protect your rights and interests throughout your divorce. They can also advise you as to whether a fault or no-fault divorce is more appropriate in your situation.
If your divorce involves the division of assets and property, child custody, or other financial issues such as alimony, you will need quality legal representation in order to protect yourself and your family. A skilled lawyer will take all issues of your divorce into consideration, whether big or small. A qualified divorce attorney can make sure that you don’t agree to anything or sign any documents until you have a full understanding of all of your legal rights.
Why Choose Us?
Enduring the issues involved in a divorce can be both emotionally painful and stressful on a daily basis. Dealing with a divorce while maintaining a sense of stability for yourself and your children is difficult. You do not have to go through this process alone. The lawyers at Holmes, Diggs & Sadler will strive to help you protect your rights while guiding you through your divorce case. We will listen to your concerns and treat you with the utmost respect. We know that you are already experiencing enough stress and we therefore strive to do whatever is necessary to make the divorce process go as smoothly as possible.
With over two decades of combined experience in family law practice in the state of Texas, Holmes, Diggs & Sadler will skillfully represent you throughout a fault divorce. We represent clients in the Houston metro area with all aspects of divorce proceedings. Members of our team are board-certified experts in family law, meaning we have specialized knowledge that very few other lawyers have. We have more than 90 years of combined experience with both trial practice and mediation, and we have been named Super Lawyers by Texas Monthly every year since 2010.
Common Reasons for a Fault-Divorce
When you go through a fault divorce, the attorney who represents the person requesting the divorce must show proof that the other spouse has done something wrong in the marriage. There are several reasons for filing for divorce that can be used as grounds for ending a marital union. For example, proof of fault may come from evidence gathered by a private investigator, or from a witness that can testify to a spouse’s bad behavior. While fault divorces are less common, they are still considered an option for couples in Texas. If you pursue a fault divorce, you may be given preferential treatment when it comes to property division, child custody, and other decisions about your divorce.
You can cite many different reasons for divorce, involving fault of varying kinds. Some of the more common reasons for divorce include:
- Cruelty: The grounds for spousal cruelty are defined as intentionally causing pain or suffering to your spouse. Each case of cruelty is different because what one person may believe is cruel may not be perceived by another as bad treatment. If the instances of cruelty are determined to be intentional and persistent inflictions of unnecessary suffering (whether mental or physical), grounds for cruelty can be legally established.
- Adultery: Adultery is defined as sexual intercourse and/or a sexual relationship with someone outside of the marriage. If one spouse has definite proof that the other was cheating, there are grounds for a fault divorce. There doesn’t have to be photographic proof: adultery can often be demonstrated by receipts or bank statements showing purchases of gifts or vacations.
- Abandonment: A court will grant a fault divorce to one spouse if the other has left with the intention of abandonment and has not returned to the marriage for at least one year or more.
- Felony Conviction: If you or your spouse is convicted of a felony, it can be considered grounds for a divorce. A divorce will be granted if (during the marriage) you or your spouse was convicted of a felony criminal act, was in prison for over a year, and has not been pardoned.
- Long-Term Residency in a Mental Institution: Fault divorce applies when a spouse is residing in a mental hospital for at least three years, and the degree and nature of the mental disorder make it unlikely that the spouse will be released or be able to readjust to life outside of an institution.
- Living Separated for Three Years: A court will grant a divorce to one spouse if a married couple has been separated for at least three years.
- Uncommon Grounds: Uncommon grounds includes alcohol or drug abuse, homosexuality (for heterosexual couples), infertility, financial backing, or religious differences.
If you and your spouse’s situation meet any of these reasons for fault, you are likely eligible to seek a fault divorce. Our attorneys are prepared to help you assess your situation and determine what path is best to take.
Frequently Asked Questions
Fault divorces are somewhat uncommon, so you may have many questions about how to proceed. Below are the answers to some of the questions we hear most often at our firm.
How long must I have lived in Texas prior to a divorce filing?
One of the spouses must have been a resident of the state for a continuous six-month period. In addition, one of the spouses must have been a resident of the county where the divorce is filed for at least 90 days or more.
How long does it take to finalize a divorce?
A divorce is not finalized for at least 60 days after a petition is filed. The divorce is only final when a judge signs the decree of divorce. If both parties are not in agreement about the terms of the divorce, the divorce process can take longer than 60 days. While two months is the minimum time frame, the more disagreement that occurs between the spouses means that the divorce proceedings will likely take more time. Some divorces can last months or even years. However, the average time it takes for a divorce to be final is usually between 6 to 8 months.
What is considered a venue in a divorce?
A venue refers to the type of court and the geographic location where a divorce case is filed. The venue for a divorce filing is usually a county or district court where at least one of the individuals resides.
At Holmes, Diggs & Sadler, our attorneys will work diligently to help you achieve a successful outcome and minimize the stress and upheaval in your life that divorce can cause. Our lawyers have decades of experience in divorce law. We will make sure that you have all the information you need to make informed decisions about ending your marriage.
If you or someone you know wants to file for divorce in Texas because of a fault in the marriage or in a spouse, contact a qualified Houston divorce attorney of Holmes, Diggs & Sadler today. We can help you get through your divorce, even under the most stressful circumstances. Contact us today at (713) 802-1777.