Portrait of John K Grubb

Texas Divorce and Prenuptial Agreement

5005 Riverway Drive, Suite 450 • Houston, Texas 77056

Phone: 713-877-8800 • Fax: 713-877-1229

When Does Fault Matter for Divorce?

Although it is often a combination of factors that leads to divorce, several often come up when asking couples why they decided to end their relationship. These factors include the following:

  • Communication problems
  • Financial issues
  • Infidelity
  • Substance abuse problems
  • Intimacy problems
  • Mid-life crises

Of course, many of the factors blend into one another. For example, communication problems between spouses tend to make their financial life worse, since finances have such a big impact on how the couple lives their lives. The reason for the divorce is generally not so important today, but spouses still have the option of proving fault if they opt for a fault divorce.

Divorce – does fault matter?

These days, fault does not usually matter, but this is a relatively new development in family law. Prior to the 1970s, when a couple divorced, one spouse had to allege fault on the part of the other spouse – the commission of a crime or an act of adultery, for instance. These fault requirements often made divorce difficult, as it was subject to strict evidentiary requirements. In the absence of any evidence of fault, a couple’s only recourse was to separate and remain unable to legally remarry.

Today, all states permit no-fault divorce. In the summer of 2010, New York became the last state to adopt it; prior to then, many married couples avoided divorcing in New York due to the strict legal requirements of having to prove fault for a divorce. Now that all states permit no-fault divorce, married couples can divorce without having to prove that one spouse is to blame. They can divorce on no-fault grounds like incompatibility or irreconcilable differences.

Even though no-fault divorces are available throughout the country, divorces where one spouse claims the other is at fault are still an option, including in Texas. Later this week, we will go into the details about one particular cause of divorce – adultery – and how that can impact a divorce and child custody.

Have you been involved in a divorce case involving fault? What was your experience?

John K. Grubb & Associates, P.C. – Houston divorce lawyers

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