Grounds for divorce in Texas

In order to file for divorce in Texas, there must first be a ground for divorce listed in the Original Petition for Divorce. There are several grounds in the Texas Family Code, including cruelty, adultery, and abandonment. However, by far, the most common ground for divorce is the ground of insupportability.

Insupportability is the ground that does not blame either spouse for the divorce. This ground is also commonly referred to as “no fault” divorce.

Name of Parties

The spouse who files for divorce is called the Petitioner. The other spouse is known as the Respondent.

Where to file your divorce case

In order to file for a divorce in Texas: (i) you and/or your spouse must have lived in Texas for at least six months before filing for divorce; and (ii) you must file in the district court in the county in which either you or your spouse has lived for at least ninety days.

The waiting period

Before a divorce in Texas may be finalized, there is a required 60 day waiting period. This simply means that at least 60 days must pass from the date of initial filing the petition with the court before a judge may finalize (approve) the divorce decree that ends the marriage.

Grounds for Divorce

Sec. 6.001. INSUPPORTABILITY. On the petition of either party to a marriage, the court may grant a divorce without regard to fault if the marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marital relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation.

Courtesy of: Texas Constitution and Statutes


Residency Requirement

Sec. 6.301. GENERAL RESIDENCY RULE FOR DIVORCE SUIT. A suit for divorce may not be maintained in this state unless at the time the suit is filed either the petitioner or the respondent has been:

  1. (1) a domiciliary of this state for the preceding six-month period; and
  2. 2) a resident of the county in which the suit is filed for the preceding 90-day period.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 6.302. SUIT FOR DIVORCE BY NONRESIDENT SPOUSE. If one spouse has been a domiciliary of this state for at least the last six months, a spouse domiciled in another state or nation may file a suit for divorce in the county in which the domiciliary spouse resides at the time the petition is filed.

Courtesy of: Texas Constitution and Statutes


The Waiting Period

Sec. 6.702. WAITING PERIOD. (a) Except as provided by Subsection (c), the court may not grant a divorce before the 60th day after the date the suit was filed. A decree rendered in violation of this subsection is not subject to collateral attack.

  1. (b) A waiting period is not required before a court may grant an annulment or declare a marriage void other than as required in civil cases generally.
  2. c) A waiting period is not required under Subsection (a) before a court may grant a divorce in a suit in which the court finds that:
    1. (1) the respondent has been finally convicted of or received deferred adjudication for an offense involving family violence as defined by Section 71.004 against the petitioner or a member of the petitioner's household; or
    2. (2) the petitioner has an active protective order under Title 4 or an active magistrate's order for emergency protection under Article 17.292, Code of Criminal Procedure, based on a finding of family violence, against the respondent because of family violence committed during the marriage.

Courtesy of: Texas Constitution and Statutes