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Evidence in Fault Divorce Cases

Dallas Attorneys Representing People in Dissolution Proceedings

Regardless of why a marriage fails, many couples choose to seek no-fault divorces, essentially representing that their marriage cannot be saved due to differences between them that they are unable to resolve. Texas allows parties the option of seeking fault-based divorces, however, and many people choose to do so for a variety of reasons. If a court grants a fault divorce, it will effectively assign one party blame for the downfall of the marriage. As such, the courts require competent evidence in fault divorce causes, to establish why such relief should be granted. If you wish to institute a divorce action or recently received a petition for dissolution from your spouse, it is smart to meet with an attorney as soon as possible to assess your options. The trusted Dallas divorce lawyers of McClure Law Group can advise you of your rights, and help you determine the best manner to proceed in pursuit of your desired outcome.

Grounds for Fault-Based Divorces in Texas

The Texas Family Code (the “Code”) establishes seven grounds for divorce. The first, insupportability, is the term Texas uses for a no-fault divorce. In other words, the court will grant a divorce on the grounds of insupportability without assigning fault to either party.  The remaining six grounds, cruelty, adultery, conviction of a felony, living apart, abandonment, and confinement in a mental hospital, are fault-based. A divorce granted on fault-based grounds will be in favor of one party, which may benefit that party in terms of division of community property and maintenance.

Evidence in Fault-Based Divorce Cases

The courts consider various types of evidence in fault divorce cases, depending on the grounds asserted. Some fault-based grounds are easily established. For example, a person seeking a divorce due to conviction of a felony merely has to show their spouse was convicted of a felony, has been in prison for at least a year, and has not been pardoned. Similarly, a party seeking a divorce due to their spouse’s confinement in a mental hospital must merely offer proof of the spouse’s confinement for at least three years and that the nature and degree of the spouse’s mental disorder are such that adjustment is improbable, and if adjustment happens, a relapse is likely. The spouse’s mental-health status can generally be established via medical records and testimony from a mental-health expert.

Establishing other fault-based grounds can sometimes be less straightforward. For example, a party alleging adultery as the grounds for seeking divorce must produce evidence showing that their spouse engaged in acts of infidelity during the marriage. Parties often lack direct evidence of adultery, but it can be established via circumstantial evidence. The proof offered in support of the assertion that a party committed adultery must be clear and convincing, however, as mere innuendo or suggestion are insufficient to establish adultery.  Voicemails and emails, text messages, photographs, and surveillance footage are often offered as evidence in fault divorce cases alleging adultery.

A party alleging abandonment as grounds for divorce must show that their spouse chose to leave their marital home with the expectation of remaining away from them for a minimum of one year. Finally, cruelty may be shown by demonstrating that a party has engaged in willful acts with the intent of causing their spouse pain and suffering.

Speak to an Experienced Dallas Lawyer

There are benefits to obtaining a fault-based divorce, but the process of procuring them is often contentious and complicated. If you intend to end your marriage, it is in your best interest to speak to an attorney regarding your rights. The experienced Dallas lawyers of McClure Law Group are proficient at helping parties seek favorable resolutions in divorce matters, and if you hire us, we will fight to help you protect your interests. We frequently represent people in divorce matters in Dallas, Frisco, Fort Worth, Irving, McKinney, Richardson, Rockwall, and Garland. We also aid people in family-law disputes in cities in Dallas, Rockwall, Collin, Denton, Tarrant, and Grayson Counties. You can contact us via our online form, or by calling 214.692.8200 to set up a meeting.

Client Reviews
"McClure Law Group was very professional and responsive. They listened to my concerns and desires as it pertains to the service requested and I'm very pleased." Jade Nguyen
"Kelly and her team are always a pleasure to work with, and their work product always exceeds one’s expectations." George Tamke
"When I most needed professional, good quality responses McClure Law Group was there. Thank you for the service that I have received from everyone!" Norma Charles
"McClure Law Group’s team is very responsive! I have very much appreciated their communication. They are always on top of what is happening and return my calls or emails quickly." Brie Cherry
"Kelly McClure has been representing me for the past several years and has been an amazing advocate, confidant and sounding board. She is always available by phone, even when she is on vacation. She has answered my questions on weekends and always given me an honest opinion. I highly recommend this group to anyone." Heather Bell
"The McClure Law Group helped me through a very difficult divorce and they definitely had my back every step of the way. I couldn’t recommend the team enough!" Shell A.
"I could not be happier to have had McClure Law. I truly appreciate their accessibility and patience. I can tell they are very knowledgeable, and I trust their guidance. I am SO thankful I went with great lawyers to handle my family case." Victor Lollar
"Kelly is detailed oriented and she truly cares about her clients. Her knowledge of the laws and her ability to get a case resolved make her stand far above others. I highly recommend McClure for your family law needs!" Peter Morgan