Grounds For Divorce In Houston


By Cassandra Daniels | July 19, 2022

What Are Grounds For Divorce In Houston From A Divorce Attorney?

Grounds for divorce in Houston vary, but you should be aware of them all before you file a divorce petition. Depending on your situation, you may already have an idea of how you want to file. But it can still be helpful to know what each situation entails and what you’ll need to move forward.

Grounds for divorce vary from state to state, and the process becomes much more complicated when the divorce is on an international level. This is because real estate and other assets are divided across borders. And even making decisions like child custody agreements becomes tougher to determine.

However, with divorces solely in Texas, and more specifically filed with the Harris County district clerk, there are 6 main grounds for divorce. As always, it helps to have an experienced divorce attorney to guide you through the process, and represent you on your behalf.

If you need an attorney in Houston, Cassandra Daniels is your partner throughout the process.

No Fault Versus At Fault Grounds For Divorce In Houston

Before fully diving into each reason for divorce in Texas, you should know the difference between an “at fault” versus a “no fault” divorce. The following can fall under a no-fault divorce:

  • Insupportability
  • Separation
  • Mental institution confinement

At Fault Grounds For Divorce In Houston

If you wish to file for an “at fault” divorce, you must be able to prove that your spouse did something directly to cause the end of your marriage. This particular step can be hard to do because of varying views and other disagreements – which can lengthen the process.

The following four reasons fall under at-fault grounds for divorce:

  • Infidelity
  • Abuse
  • Abandonment
  • Felony conviction

Filing an at-fault divorce can have an effect on how a judge settles your case when it comes to the division of assets, child support, child custody, and alimony. 

If you need a divorce attorney to file a divorce petition, reach out today.

7 Valid Grounds For Divorce In Harris County, Houston Texas

Are you thinking about filing a divorce decree? On average, there are about 6,646 divorces per day in the United States. If any of the following sounds like reasonable grounds for your divorce, it’s time to talk to a Harris county attorney.

1. Insupportability

Texas allows no-fault divorce decree filings based on the split being a mutual decision in which no one is to blame for the end of the marriage. This type of divorce is more commonly referred to as insupportability or irreconcilable differences.

2. Living In Separate Locations

If you and your spouse are living separately and have been for three years or more, living apart can be grounds for divorce. This is especially important if there is real estate to divide. For example, if your spouse moved out and you’re the one living in your marital home, you need to discuss a strategy with your attorney if you plan to remain in your home post divorce. 

You need to talk about living separately with your attorney. This is because you will run into some issues if you or your spouse have not lived in Harris county for quite some time. You or your spouse must live or have lived in Harris county in the last 90 days. Otherwise, you may need to file divorce papers and continue divorce proceedings in a different state or county.

3. Confinement To A Mental Institution

If your spouse is deemed mentally incompetent and placed in a mental institution for any reason, this is a valid reason to file for divorce. Many people never consider this option because it can happen in an unexpected way, such as an accident.

In the event that you are thinking of filing for divorce in Harris county for this reason, there are a few stipulations that must be present. One is that your spouse must be confined for at least three years. Another is that the severity of their mental disorder is determined to be severe and incapable of improving.

4. Adultery During Marriage

People sometimes ask, “Is it illegal to cheat on my spouse in Texas or Harris county?”

No. It is not illegal to cheat on your spouse in Harris county or Texas. However, it is a valid reason to file for a divorce. About 15% to 20% of married couples in the U.S. cheat. If infidelity is a reason you’re considering getting a divorce, there are a few steps you need to take.

Talk to your attorney and provide any type of proof you think is relevant to strategize. Adultery, after you file and are no longer living together, can still be used as proof. You should gather evidence whether the infidelity took place in or outside of Harris county. If you believe shared funds are being used for your spouse’s affair, you may even be able to submit a reimbursement claim for fraud. The point? Texas considers you married until your divorce is finalized. 

5. Divorce Because Of Physical Or Mental Abuse

In Texas, physical or mental abuse is referred to as “cruelty”. However, cruelty has different meanings for different people and can be interpreted in various ways. Cruelty refers to willful actions to harm the other person in some way, either mentally or physically. 

Mental abuse is often tough to prove because the trauma may only appear over time through carefully planned actions like verbal manipulation. This is why gathering as much evidence of the abuse is crucial for your case. For either mental or physical abuse or cruelty, certain documentation can help you win your case, like:

  • Text messages
  • Recorded voicemails or conversations
  • Emails
  • Pictures
  • Videos
  • Police reports

Grounds For Divorce In Houston If Your Spouse Is Addicted To Alcohol Or Drugs

Many people do not know that alcohol or drug addiction can be cited as a cause of dissolution in a marriage. The reason this falls under physical or mental abuse is the two tend to go hand in hand. A spouse who is abusing drugs or alcohol can experience extreme changes in behavior and actions that can lead to infidelity, misuse of money, constant impairment, verbal or physical abuse, etc.

In an at-fault divorce, you should try to provide as much proof as you can because even a single piece of evidence will make a huge difference in your case. Your ability to prove abuse can directly affect other aspects of your divorce like child support, paying attorney fees, and spousal support.

6. Abandonment Or Desertion

Abandonment means one spouse leaves with no intention of ever returning. Your spouse can leave for short periods of time, but that doesn’t count as “abandonment”. To file for divorce for this reason, your spouse’s intention must be unchanging. 

If you plan on filing due to abandonment, you can prove this in two ways. To start, your spouse must have left willingly on their own. Then, they must be consistently gone for at least a one-year period. Once you’re certain about filing for divorce due to desertion, ensure your boundaries are set. If your spouse returns for even a night or two, it could compromise your case.

7. Imprisonment Or Felony Conviction

Filing for divorce because of your spouse’s felony conviction must contain the following aspects regarding your spouse:

  • They’ve been convicted of a felony during your marriage
  • They’re in prison for at least one year in a department of criminal justice or a state or federal penitentiary 
  • They have not been pardoned

This particular type of case should be well documented by several entities. Therefore, it will help tremendously to have a divorce attorney with experience dealing with divorce cases that involve convicted felons.

Daniels Law Firm: Experience In Family Law & Divorce In Houston

Depending on your situation, a seasoned divorce and family law attorney can help make the process smoother. If you have children, you will want to have sound guidance on topics such as child custody and child support. Have an attorney on your side who’s familiar with family law and understands your pain points.

Talk to Daniels Law Firm in Houston.

“From Complex Property Division to Child Custody Cases, We Handle It All”

or Call Us Now at

(346) 818-2637

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