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New bill challenges no-fault grounds for divorce

When a Houston couple decides to end its marriage the parties to the union may do so either based on fault grounds or through a no-fault divorce. Fault grounds, which include but are not limited to adultery, cruelty, conviction of a felony and abandonment, demonstrate that the actions of one of the parties led to the deterioration of the marital relationship. No-fault grounds, on the other hand, simply suggest that the couple wants to end its relationship without placing blame on either of the parties.

A Texas lawmaker recently proposed a bill that would end couples' abilities to pursue no-fault divorces. Under the bill the fault grounds would be the only way that a couple could secure a divorce; the lawmaker believes that by removing the no-fault grounds option from Texas law that more couples would stay married under the more difficult grounds' standards.

The proposed bill will be considered in 2017 and the process of changing the law, if passed, would take some time to implement. At present couples may still use no-fault divorces to end their marriages.

Though the elimination of the no-fault option may keep more couples together it may also force some couples to share in court information about their families that they would rather keep out of the light. For example, if a partner had a history of infidelity and neither partner wanted that information shared with their kids, they may under the current laws agree to a no-fault divorce. If the non-cheating party had to file for divorce based on adultery then the details of the infidelity would become part of the couple's divorce record and discoverable by others like their kids.

No-fault grounds for divorce serve a purpose in the Texas laws but with this proposed bill residents of the state will have to see what lawmakers do. Individuals with questions about the different grounds for divorce may wish to speak with family law attorneys.

Source: kgns.tv, "Proposed Bill to End 'No-Fault' Divorces," Yocelin Gallardo, Dec. 28, 2016

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Attorney Christine K. Lincoln

Christine K. Lincoln offers sound counsel and legal services to protect clients and their families facing divorce and other family disputes.

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