When you're planning to get divorced, one important question you might have is whether you will be able to go through the process amicably without all of your dirty laundry being aired out in court. By claiming grounds of insupportability in a Texas divorce, you do not need to state that either party is at fault for the end of the marriage.
Filing for divorce on the grounds of insupportability simply means that you and your spouse are incompatible in one way or another to the extent that you don't believe the marriage is salvagable.
Insupportability is the most commonly used reason for divorce in Texas. Even if you know that your spouse has engaged in misconduct that led to the end of the marriage, you still might choose to file for a no-fault divorce on the grounds of insupportability.
Going this route can mean that divorce is less expensive, less time-consuming, and less contentious than if you file for a fault-based divorce.
The Texas Family Code lists seven different grounds for divorce in Texas. The most commonly cited reason for divorce in the Lone Star State is "insupportability."
This is listed as the first acceptable reason for divorce in the Family Code, which is described in this manner:
"Sec. 6.001. INSUPPORTABILITY. On the petition of either party to a marriage, the court may grant a divorce without regard to fault if the marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marital relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation."
To put this in plain English, you can choose to get divorced in Texas if you have no reasonable expectation that the two of you will be able to reconcile due to a personality conflict or discord in the marriage.
If you're planning on getting a divorce, there's a good chance there are a lot of reasons you can identify that the marriage isn't working out. However, it's important to understand that the issues in your relationship that are leading to the dissolution of your marriage won't necessarily be used as the grounds for divorce you state in your divorce petition.
You can choose to claim either a "no-fault" or a "fault-based" divorce when you first file to dissolve your marriage in Texas. Which option you go with will have a big impact on two vital factors:
Filing for a no-fault divorce means that you aren't making any claims about which spouse is responsible for the marriage ending. Getting a no-fault divorce is typically less expensive and can also reduce conflict between spouses during the divorce.
There are two different grounds for divorce in Texas that are considered no-fault:
Claiming insupportability is, as you might imagine, more common than filing for divorce based on the grounds of separation. When you file a no-fault divorce due to insupportability, you are basically saying that the two of you aren't able to get along, and the chances that you'll be able to work it out are slim to none.
A no-fault divorce isn't necessarily an uncontested divorce. Filing for an uncontested divorce in Texas means that you and your spouse have already reached agreements about all of the important issues that must be addressed.
If you file for a no-fault divorce and you and your spouse have disagreements about these relevant issues, such as how property and debts are divided, child custody, child support, and spousal maintenance, the divorce will proceed as a contested divorce.
Contested divorces pretty much always take longer and cost more. For this reason, it's worth making the effort to work with your spouse to find a reasonable middle ground to avoid an expensive, drawn-out divorce.
In some cases, an individual might choose to file for a fault-based divorce when dissolving their marriage in Texas. This means they are making a claim that their spouse engaged in misconduct that led to the marriage ending.
The following types of misconduct are considered fault-based grounds for divorce in Texas:
There is actually one more fault-based reason for divorce in Texas, but the sense of "fault" is more technical than anything. The reason for this is that the final reason you can claim a divorce in the Lone Star State isn't the result of voluntary misconduct.
Filing for a fault-based divorce in Texas means that you will have to prove, in court, that what you are claiming is true. In most cases, your spouse will probably fight back against the claims you are making about them.
It's important to understand that filing for a fault-based divorce can make the process much more contentious. There is always a chance that a divorce will end up as a battle in court, but fault-based divorces are much more likely to make it to the litigation process. This is the main reason that fault-based divorces tend to be much more expensive and take longer than no-fault divorces.
Did your spouse file for a fault-based divorce, claiming that you engaged in misconduct that led to the end of the marriage?
If you have been accused of cruelty or adultery, you might be able to use condonation as a defense. In most cases, you'll need to prove the following in order to successfully use this defense in a Texas divorce:
It's worth noting that judges will only grant this type of condonation defense if they feel that there is no reasonable expectation that the two individuals will reconcile.
No-fault divorce has both advantages and disadvantages, and its impact can vary depending on your individual circumstances.
Here are some pros of a no-fault Texas divorce:
On the flip side, here are some of the cons of getting a no-fault divorce in Texas:
There are few things more difficult than realizing that your marriage is ending. Not only do you have to deal with the emotional stress of breaking up with your spouse and starting a new life, but there are also complex legal and financial aspects to the process.
Filing for divorce based on insupportability can help ensure that your divorce isn't any more expensive than it needs to be. At the same time, it typically doesn't take nearly as long to file for a no-fault divorce than a fault-based divorce, meaning that you can get on with your post-divorce life more quickly.
Are you searching for more resources to help you learn about divorce in Texas? Make sure you check out our Texas Divorce Laws blog for guides, articles, and insights.