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ReflectionDeciding to file for divorce can be arduous and stressful.  Occasionally that is because the filer is not aware of how the process works.  First, when the decision is made to initiate a divorce, there are certain requirements that need to be met.  For example, there are residency requirements in Texas.  Either spouse must live in the state for at least six months before filing.  Also, either spouse must have lived in the county where the suit is filed for the past 90 days.

After meeting with an attorney and discussing the divorce, that attorney will file an Original Petition for Divorce with the District Clerk of your county.  The spouse who initiates the divorce proceedings is called the petitioner and the other spouse is called the respondent.  The petition will list the grounds for divorce, children from the marriage, any protective orders existing against either spouse as well as a list of separate property not to be considered in the division of marital property.

The petition initiates the divorce proceedings in court, but does not notify the other spouse.  That is accomplished by a citation that is issued at the time the petition is filed.  A citation includes the case number, information about the court, addresses and names of the petitioner and respondent and the date when the citation was issued.   It also sets a deadline for the respondent to answer the lawsuit without a judgment being made by the court.


Different U.S. states have different divorce laws, and this post will concentrate on the grounds upon which a divorce can be sought in Texas. The grounds for divorce are part of the information that needs to be provided in the Petition for Divorce. In addition to this blog post, the grounds for a Texas divorce petition can be found, for example, on divorcesource.com.

The appropriate lawful grounds, if agreed upon and substantiated by the parties, are:

  1. No Fault. If the marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities that destroys legitimate ends of the marital relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation, the court may grant a divorce without regard to fault.
  2. Cruelty. If one spouse is guilty of cruel treatment toward the complaining spouse of a nature that makes living together insupportable, the court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse.
  3. Adultery. The court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if the other has committed adultery.
  4. Conviction Of Felony. If during the marriage one spouse: has been convicted of a felony; has been imprisoned for at least one year in the State Penitentiary, a Federal Penitentiary or the penitentiary of another state; and has not been pardoned. Although, the court may not grant a divorce under this section against a spouse who was convicted on the testimony of the other spouse.

Note that these are not the only grounds for divorce in Texas. When you need help with your divorce filing or proceedings, it is in your best interests to contact an experienced divorce attorney in your area. Check our served areas and contact our offices for a consultation.

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