Under Proposed Bill 93, Divorce in Texas May Take Three Years

Divorce can be one of the most difficult times in a person’s life. However, couples can make the process more bearable by agreeing that the marriage is “insupportable”. “Insupportable” simply means that the marriage is not working because of conflicts within the marriage.

Current Texas Law

Under the current law, if the marriage has become “insupportable” because of conflict, couples can agree on the provisions of the divorce, the division of property, and the custody of the children. If the couples can agree on the divorce terms, there is very little Court involvement. Generally, this is considered to be the easiest and least burdensome method of getting a divorce in Texas. Usually, in a divorce under the “insupportability” provision, the exploration of the couples personal lives is less invasive, the process is less contentious, and the parties can get a divorce relatively quickly.

The Proposed Changed

Proposed Bill 93 would repeal insupportability as a ground for divorce. If the “insupportability” provision were removed from the Texas divorce law, couples seeking divorce in Texas would only have two options.

The first option is that one spouse would have to show that the other spouse is “at fault” in their divorce. For a spouse to be at fault, the Court must find that they were guilty of cruel treatment, committed adultery, are in jail, abandoned the marriage, or are confined to a mental hospital. This requires the Court to explore more personal aspects of the marriage and can take much longer than a no-fault divorce.

If a couple seeking divorce could not show that the other spouse was at fault (by fulfilling one of the listed requirements), the only other option is for the spouses to live apart for at least three years.

Essentially, if neither spouse could show that the other spouse was cruel, in jail, abandoned the marriage, committed adultery, or was in a mental hospital, the couple would be required to live apart for three years before seeking a divorce.

Obviously, this proposed change would make it much more difficult for Texans to get divorced. What do you think about this proposed law?

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