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Can your spouse deny you a divorce in Texas?

On Behalf of | Oct 29, 2021 | Family Law |

When you don’t understand the Texas laws about divorce, you may not understand your rights or how the process really works. Many people believe misinformation about dissolution proceedings that may prevent them from pursuing their best lives.

For example, some people think that their spouse will have to agree to a divorce in order for them to end the marriage. They think that if their spouse ignores the filing or doesn’t agree to certain terms that they will have to remain married. Can your spouse deny you a divorce under Texas state law?

It depends on the kind of divorce that you file

You can file for divorce for multiple different reasons under Texas law, and many of these reasons are fault-based. If you file a no-fault divorce request, you simply claim that the marriage has broken down to a point where you cannot repair it and wish to divorce.

However, if you file on fault-based grounds such as cruelty, infidelity or incarceration, you will have to prove that your marital circumstances meet the standards for these forms of divorce. Your ex also has the right to defend against your claims. Without the right documentation, your spouse could potentially rebut your claims in court and prevent a fault-based divorce from moving forward.

Given the extra investment of time and money necessary to prove fault when someone pursues a fault-based divorce, most people seeking to end their marriages in Texas just file on no-fault grounds.

What if your spouse doesn’t respond to your filing or approve a settlement?

If you file a no-fault divorce, your spouse has the right to respond. They can potentially agree to an uncontested divorce, allowing you to quickly and your marriage without any litigation.

On the other hand, they could respond and contest the suggested property division or custody terms. If they do, you will either have to negotiate with them now or litigate the terms later. They could also ignore the legal service advising them of the divorce, in which case the courts will typically grant the person who filed a divorce by default when enough time has passed.

Understanding the role your spouse plays in how your Texas divorce moves forward might give you the courage to consider filing.