Under Texas state law, a “no-fault” divorce means that neither spouse is required to prove that the other spouse is responsible for the breakdown of the marriage. Instead, the couple can simply state that the marriage is irretrievably broken, and this is enough to begin the divorce process. This is in contrast to a “fault” divorce, where one spouse must prove that the other spouse committed some type of wrongdoing, such as adultery, cruelty, or abandonment.
Two Types of No Fault Divorce in Texas
Under Texas law, there are two types of no-fault divorces: uncontested and contested. In an uncontested divorce, both spouses agree on all aspects of the divorce, such as property division, child custody, child support, and spousal support. This type of divorce is typically quicker, less expensive, and less stressful than a contested divorce.
In a contested divorce, however, the spouses cannot agree on all aspects of the divorce, and the court must make decisions regarding property division, child custody, child support, and/or spousal support. In this case, the no-fault grounds for divorce may be used as a basis for the divorce, but fault-based grounds may also be considered.
Fault or No Fault?
It is worth noting that while a no-fault divorce does not require either spouse to prove fault, fault may still be considered when it comes to property division, spousal support, and child custody. For example, if one spouse committed adultery or engaged in other misconduct during the marriage, this may be taken into account when determining how property should be divided and whether spousal support should be awarded.
Mediation is Common
In Texas, there is a waiting period of 60 days from the time a divorce petition is filed before a divorce can be finalized. During this time, the couple can attempt to work out the terms of the divorce, including property division, child custody, and spousal support. If they are unable to reach an agreement, a judge will ordinarily require that the spouses attend mediation. If mediation is unsuccessful, then a judge will make these decisions for them.
It is important to note that while a no-fault divorce may be simpler and less contentious than a fault-based divorce, it is still a major life event that can be emotionally and financially challenging. If you are considering a divorce, it is important to consult with an experienced family law attorney like Lundberg Law who can guide you through the process and help you achieve the best possible outcome.
In summary, a no-fault divorce in Texas means that neither spouse is required to prove fault in order to obtain a divorce. This can make the process simpler and less contentious, but fault may still be considered when it comes to property division, spousal support, and child custody. If you are considering a divorce, contact us to schedule a free consultation. You’ll need an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the legal system and achieve the best possible outcome.