Understanding Fault and No-Fault Divorces in Texas

Couples in Houston who no longer want to be married have different legal options. when filing for a divorce in Houston, they can pick between a no-fault and fault-based divorce. Keep reading to learn more about these options:

Fault vs No-Fault Divorce

A no-fault divorce is an ideal option for spouses who cannot get along and live together because of differences. In a Texas no-fault divorce, neither party is responsible for the fact their marriage failed to work out. The ground for this divorce is the dissolution of the marriage based on irreconcilable differences. When both spouses agree to end their marriage, they can file a no-fault divorce, formally stating that neither party is to blame or guilty of any misconduct that caused the marriage to end. Also, the state of Texas has uncontested divorce. With this option, couples can create an amicable plan to resolve asset division, custody, and other aspects of their divorce. 

Spouses who don’t agree on the separation can seek a fault-based divorce. In this case, the spouse who files for divorce will allege that their spouse has done something to cause the marriage to fail to work. For instance, a spouse can file for divorce on grounds of adultery. But, this spouse must prove that their spouse is responsible for the end of their marriage. Often, at-fault divorces in the state take longer than no-fault divorces due to the opportunities for disagreements throughout the proceedings. 

Filing a No-Fault Divorce

To file for a no-fault divorce in Texas, a spouse must prepare some documents, including the Original Petition for Divorce. If the couple has children, they also have to prepare documents related to custody, parental duties, and visitation rights. An experienced divorce attorney from a divorce law firm in houston can help a spouse prepare all the necessary paperwork accurately and completely. 

When documents are prepared, they should be filed at the courthouse in the county of residence. This will start the no-fault divorce process. In the case of an uncontested divorce, the court clerk will schedule a hearing where a judge will review the divorce agreement with both spouses. If the divorce is contested, the contesting spouse will be given time to respond to the petition. If they fail to file an answer by the Monday next after 20 days from the date of being served with divorce papers, they may lose their right to make arguments for the divorce terms they prefer, including spousal support and property division. 

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