A state representative hopes to make it harder for couples to divorce in Texas.
Representative Matt Krause of Fort Worth claims the no-fault divorce statute in Texas prevents due process.
“There needs to be some type of due process. There needs to be some kind of mechanism to where that other spouse has a defense,” he said when he filed the bill in 2016. Krause hopes the bill will pick up steam during the 2017 legislative session. He added that ditching no-fault divorce would help “strengthen the family.”
Krause also filed a bill that would increase the waiting period for a Texas divorce from 60 days to 180 days. Many Christian conservative groups have lobbied for making it harder for couples to divorce, but critics say increasing the waiting period would only increase conflicts and attorney fees. The Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops supports the measure, saying it would “provide more time for counseling and other support to protect marriages.”
Under current Texas law, couples can get divorced with the no-fault option without being required to select a category of a fault-based divorce. There are six categories of fault-based divorces recognized under Texas law: a felony conviction, living separately for at least three years, confinement to a mental hospital, cruelty, adultery, and abandonment. The no-fault option is typically the easiest and most affordable way to get a divorce in Texas and involves splitting property and assets 50-50. All states currently offer some type of no-fault divorce. In 17 states, no-fault grounds are the only way to seek a divorce.
Many raise concerns about eliminating the no-fault option as emotions are already high in a divorce and being forced to blame one party for the divorce can make the process harder than necessary.
An experienced divorce attorney in Texas can help you understand your options when filing for divorce and whether it makes sense to file a fault-based or no-fault divorce.