Filing a Contested Divorce in Texas

An individual can file a contested divorce in Texas asserting either at-fault grounds provided by statute or the no-fault ground of insupportability. The at-fault reasons for a divorce include cruelty, adultery, felony conviction, abandonment, and a spouse's confinement in a mental hospital. The statute's residency provisions require that either the petitioner or respondent is a domicile of the state six months prior to filing.


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.

Sec. 6.002.  CRUELTY

The court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if the other spouse is guilty of cruel treatment toward the complaining spouse of a nature that renders further living together insupportable.

Sec. 6.003.  ADULTERY

The court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if the other spouse has committed adultery.


(a)  The court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if during the marriage the other spouse:

  1. has been convicted of a felony;
  2. has been imprisoned for at least one year in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, a federal penitentiary, or the penitentiary of another state; and
  3. has not been pardoned.

(b)  The court may not grant a divorce under this section against a spouse who was convicted on the testimony of the other spouse.

Sec. 6.005.  ABANDONMENT

The court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if the other spouse:

(1)  left the complaining spouse with the intention of abandonment; and

(2)  remained away for at least one year.

Sec. 6.006.  LIVING APART

The court may grant a divorce in favor of either spouse if the spouses have lived apart without cohabitation for at least three years.


The court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if at the time the suit is filed:

(1)  the other spouse has been confined in a state mental hospital or private mental hospital, as defined in Section 571.003, Health and Safety Code, in this state or another state for at least three years; and

(2)  it appears that the hospitalized spouse's mental disorder is of such a degree and nature that adjustment is unlikely or that, if adjustment occurs, a relapse is probable.


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)  a domiciliary of this state for the preceding six-month period; and

(2)  a resident of the county in which the suit is filed for the preceding 90-day period.


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.

Talk to an Attorney for Legal Advice

If you are domiciled in Texas, you can file a contested divorce on either at-fault or no-fault grounds. You must be a resident of the county of filing for 90 days preceding the filing. Talk with an attorney to facilitate your divorce in Texas.

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