Abandonment Can Be a Ground for Divorce in Texas

wedding picture split in half

The vast majority of divorces in Texas are not based on fault. There are, however, some instances in which pursuing a fault-based divorce is preferable to a no-fault divorce, and divorces that are predicated on abandonment can be a good example. If your spouse has abandoned you and your family, it is time to consult with an experienced McLennan County divorce lawyer.

Abandonment and Divorce in the State of Texas

Abandonment, as it relates to divorce in the State of Texas, refers to a situation in which your spouse leaves you, your children, and your home with no indication that he or she plans on returning. If you gave your spouse his or her walking papers or granted him or her permission to leave (upon his or her request that you do so), it’s unlikely that your spouse’s actions will rise to the level of abandonment in the eyes of the law. If, however, your spouse left of his or her own accord and doesn’t seem to be coming back, you may have an excellent case for a divorce based on the fault ground of abandonment. The amount of time your spouse has been absent can also play an important role in determining whether his or her actions amount to abandonment. For example, if you and your spouse have a particularly dramatic fight, and he or she takes off for the long weekend, this is not going to rise to the court’s definition of abandonment. Generally, an absence of a full year or more is necessary to prove abandonment in the context of divorce.

Financial Support

If your spouse has abandoned your family but continues to contribute to your family’s financial coffers, this can weaken your case for abandonment. Spouses are required to support one another financially in Texas, but this is not where spousal requirements end. The court will take the specific circumstances relevant to your case into careful consideration when making its determination regarding your claim of abandonment.

Abandonment vs. Separation

The State of Texas does not recognize legal separation between spouses. You are married, or you are not. Nevertheless, if your spouse explains to you that he or she is going to attempt a trial separation, this act will likely lack the permanence necessary to prove abandonment. However, if your divorcing spouse is claiming his or her absence was a trial separation, but he or she engaged in none of the following attempts to save your marriage, the judge might see things very differently:

  • Frequent calls or talks

  • Couples counseling

  • Attempts to reconcile

Turn to an Experienced McLennan County Divorce Lawyer Today

Obtaining a fault-based divorce is a more complicated legal process, but Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in McLennan County, Texas, is a formidable divorce lawyer who is well acquainted with the process and is here to help. For more information, please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 today.


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