Texas was one of the first states in the country to offer no-fault divorce, and it’s worked out pretty well for folks over the last 50 years. Unfortunately, there are some who want to eliminate the option altogether.
There have been many statements and opinions – largely by pundits and certain legislators – made recently regarding Texas’ initiative to get rid of no-fault divorce. While many people are spreading fear and worry among others, the harsh reality is that Texas could very well decide to throw out their no-fault divorce laws. If this were to happen, we believe it would be a mistake for every single person who resides in Texas that may have future marital problems that cannot be reconciled.
What does “no-fault divorce” mean?
If you live in a fault-divorce state, the idea is that you must provide proof that your spouse did something wrong in order to be granted a divorce. Examples of possible reasonings for a divorce are domestic violence, adultery, child abuse, alienation of affection, or abandonment.
However, if you live in Texas, which is a no-fault divorce state, you do not need to show proof of any mistakes or willful actions that took place during the marriage which resulted in you wanting a divorce. A spouse simply requests a divorce, and the court will grant the divorce. Some no-fault divorce states require the couple to live separately for a certain amount of time, but Texas is one of the few states that does not have a separation requirement for couples who want to divorce.
Five advantages of no-fault divorce
There are currently 17 states, including Texas, that are considered “true” no-fault divorce states. If you live in one of these states, you should consider yourself lucky because there are several advantages to these types of divorces. Here are five advantages that you should know about when it comes to no-fault divorce:
- People save money: People who go through divorce in a no-fault divorce state are able to save money. The reason for this is because they spend less money by forgoing multiple court hearings, trying to convince the judge or jury about any wrongdoings or mistakes their spouse made, which led to their marriage failing. Instead, both parties usually agree to the divorce, sign papers, go over what they want to happen with their properties and assets, and pay their attorney and legal fees. After this, the divorce is granted, and they go their separate ways.
- Victims of abuse are protected: A lot of times, marriages end because of some form of abuse. This may be domestic abuse, child abuse, psychological abuse, or any other type of abuse. The good news is that a no-fault divorce doesn’t require victims of abuse to show proof and face their perpetrator to be granted a divorce. Instead, they can request a divorce, and their spouse must sign the papers.
- People can divorce and get out of their marriages easily: One of the best parts of a no-fault divorce is that people are able to divorce and get out of their marriages easily. They do not have to go back and forth with the arguing and bickering in a courtroom or try to find explanations to show the judge as to why they want to leave their marriage. Instead, one spouse simply files for divorce, they both sign the legal documents, and the divorce is approved.
- Couples are able to reach agreements easier and quicker: In a no-fault divorce, conflict is typically low. Therefore, couples are able to communicate and reach agreements easier and quicker. Attorneys usually work with couples to establish a variety of different legal agreements, such as child support, child custody, visitation times, property division, and more.
- The court process is less stressful and quicker: The court is not overwhelmed with divorce cases in which couples must provide proof of issues that caused them to file for divorce. Instead, the court process is less stressful and quicker with individuals simply stating and mostly agreeing that they no longer wish to be married to each other.
What would happen if no-fault divorce ended in Texas?
Those that want to throw out no-fault divorce are making the argument that it diminishes the importance of marriage, family, and values. It is believed by some that no-fault divorce is turning marriage into a simple contract in which couples can decide to end at any moment. However, if Texas gets rid of no-fault divorces, everyone may be affected as individuals who get married will be stuck in their undesired marriages, and more people may decide to never get married at all.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were almost 700,000 divorces in the United States in 2021. While this may seem like a large number, there were close to two million marriages that same year. Therefore, the rate of marriage is about three times that of divorce. If several of the states in the United States were no longer no-fault divorce states, people would possibly be less likely to divorce, but they would also be stuck in their irreconcilable (and potentially dangerous) marriages. In addition, people would be much more hesitant and skeptical about getting married.
Psychology Today explains that most divorces happen because of incompatibility, lack of communication, abuse, differences, money, identity issues, lack of intimacy, infidelity, and more. While infidelity and abuse may be used as reasons for divorce, it is not uncommon for individuals to find out that they are simply incompatible or more different than they thought after being married for years. However, if lawmakers get rid of no-fault divorce, these individuals would likely be forced to remain in their unhappy marriages.
If you are thinking about getting divorced and have questions and concerns regarding the process, please reach out to a San Antonio divorce lawyer at Grable Grimshaw PLLC at your earliest opportunity. Our team offers compassion, understanding, and professionalism to each of our clients who are going through a divorce. We know that there are several tough decisions that you must make during this time, which is why we are here to help you navigate the legal process and ensure that your best interests are always kept in mind. Call our office or submit our contact form today to set up a meeting with our firm.