Understanding the Grounds for Divorce in Texas

When considering divorce in Texas, understanding the legal grounds for dissolution is essential for navigating the process effectively. Texas law provides several grounds for divorce, each carrying its own legal implications and requirements. This informative guide aims to shed light on the grounds for divorce in Texas, providing clarity on the legal basis for ending a marriage in the Lone Star State.

No-Fault Divorce

Texas is a “no-fault” divorce state, which means that couples can seek divorce without assigning blame or proving fault against one another. The most common ground for divorce in Texas is “insupportability,” which simply means that the marriage has become insupportable due to discord or conflict that cannot be resolved. Insupportability is often cited in no-fault divorce cases, where both parties agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken and cannot be salvaged.


In addition to no-fault grounds, Texas law allows for fault-based divorce on grounds of cruelty. Cruelty may involve physical or emotional abuse inflicted by one spouse against the other, making it unsafe or intolerable for the marriage to continue. To establish cruelty as grounds for divorce, the petitioner must provide evidence of the abusive behavior, such as witness testimony, medical records, or police reports.


Adultery is another fault-based ground for divorce in Texas, whereby one spouse engages in extramarital affairs outside the marriage. Proving adultery as grounds for divorce requires evidence of the adulterous conduct, such as witness testimony, photographs, or electronic communications. However, it’s important to note that adultery can be challenging to prove and may not always be relevant to the divorce proceedings.


Abandonment, also known as desertion, occurs when one spouse voluntarily leaves the marital home and refuses to return, without justification or consent from the other spouse. To establish abandonment as grounds for divorce, the petitioner must demonstrate that the abandonment was intentional and prolonged, typically for a period of one year or more.

Felony Conviction

In cases where one spouse has been convicted of a felony and sentenced to imprisonment for at least one year, the innocent spouse may seek divorce on grounds of the felony conviction. However, the innocent spouse must not have cohabitated with the convicted spouse following their release from prison.

Living Apart

Texas law also recognizes living apart as grounds for divorce if the spouses have lived separately and apart without cohabitation for at least three years. Living apart may result from voluntary separation or mutual agreement to live separately, without the intention of reconciliation.

Legal Representation

Whether seeking a no-fault or fault-based divorce, it’s advisable for individuals to seek legal representation from an experienced family law attorney. An attorney can provide personalized advice, guide you through the divorce process, and ensure that your rights and interests are protected.


Understanding the grounds for divorce in Texas is crucial for individuals contemplating the end of their marriage. Whether pursuing a no-fault or fault-based divorce, knowing the legal basis for dissolution and the requirements for proving grounds is essential for navigating the divorce process effectively. With proper legal guidance and representation, individuals can pursue divorce proceedings with confidence and clarity.