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Causes for Divorce and How They Affect the Case

causes for divorce

"Does the reason for a divorce affect its legal outcome?" This is a question many individuals have to think about as they navigate the complexities of ending a marriage. In short, the cause of a divorce can indeed influence various aspects of the legal process, from property division to child custody decisions. We'll delve into the common causes for divorce and examines how they potentially impact the case in a legal context. Let's start with looking at how no-fault divorce vs a fault divorce can affect your divorce case prior to reviewing the different reasons for divorce.

No-Fault vs. Fault Divorce

In Texas, as in many states, you can file for divorce under either "no-fault" or "fault" grounds. The choice between these two can significantly affect the divorce process and its outcomes.

No-Fault Divorce in Texas:

  • Definition: In a no-fault divorce, you don't need to prove that your spouse did something wrong to get a divorce. Instead, you can simply state that the marriage has become insupportable due to discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marital relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation.

  • Impact: No-fault divorces tend to be simpler and less contentious than fault-based divorces. Since no blame is assigned, they can lead to a more amicable process and may result in a more equitable division of assets and debts. Child custody and support are decided based on the best interest of the child, without direct impact from the no-fault grounds.

Fault Divorce in Texas:

  • Grounds: Fault grounds in Texas include cruelty, adultery, conviction of a felony, abandonment (for at least one year), living apart (for at least three years), and confinement in a mental hospital.

  • Impact: When a divorce is filed on fault grounds, the process can become more complex and contentious. Proving fault typically requires evidence, which can lead to a longer and potentially more expensive divorce process.

    • Property Division: If the court finds one spouse at fault, it may influence the division of the marital estate. The innocent spouse may receive a larger portion of the community property.

    • Alimony/Spousal Support: Fault, particularly adultery or cruelty, can also impact spousal support. The court may be more inclined to award spousal support to a spouse who was the victim of the other's misconduct.

    • Child Custody and Support: While fault grounds might not directly influence child custody and support, if the grounds for the fault have implications on parenting ability (like substance abuse or a history of violence), it can certainly impact the court's decisions regarding custody.

Choosing Between No-Fault and Fault Divorce:

  • The decision to file for a no-fault or fault divorce in Texas should be based on several factors:

    • The specific circumstances of your marriage.

    • The nature of your relationship with your spouse.

    • The potential impact on children.

    • The likelihood of proving fault and the potential benefits versus the costs and emotional toll of a fault-based divorce.

Reasons For Divorce And Their Affects On Your Case

The reason for the divorce itself and who files also has a major impact on your ability to protect your assets, who will have primary or complete custody of any children involved, etc. Let's take a look at individual reasons for divorce and see how they each can affect the proceedings and outcome of your case.

Marital Infidelity

It’s no surprise that marital infidelity is a leading cause of divorce. Every marriage is different. While some couples have an “open” approach to marital relations, many do not. An extramarital affair can lead to broken trust, hurt feelings, and differences that can’t be reconciled. The causes of marital infidelity vary widely, and each couple is different, but this scenario often leads to divorce. While in Texas infidelity is not likely to affect your case, actions taken during infidelity could correlate with alimony or child support costs.

Feelings of Inequality

Spouses can grow to resent each other if one feels that they are bearing more of the load than their partner. This can be in terms of housework or working and making money. In another scenario, sometimes a spouse wishes to be the breadwinner but can’t find suitable employment. Both of these situations can cause marital strife. If one party makes a certain amount of money and the other party, unable to work, is accustomed to the lifestyle, this can affect how much is paid in alimony.

Poor Communication

Spouses who do not talk to one another and are poor communicators run into problems. It’s also a problem if spouses communicate by yelling at each other. Good communication requires mindfulness, patience, and intentionality. Couples who are not willing to put in the work to communicate better are likely to end up divorcing.

When a relationship is missing clear and healthy communication, it can lead to misplaced expectations. This can be in terms of money, spousal responsibility, family dynamics, physical intimacy, and more. When couples don’t communicate, the problem can snowball and continue growing over time.

Poor communication is not likely to affect a divorce case, either at fault or no fault.

Not Prepared

A marriage is more likely to end in divorce when those getting married are extremely young. It’s not easy to know when you are ready to get married. If you jump into marriage when you don’t yet know yourself or what you want, this can lead to problems. Those who enter marriage with unrealistic expectations run a high risk of divorce.


This is a very serious and valid reason to seek to end a marriage. There are several forms of abuse. Of course, the most commonly known is physical abuse, but there is also emotional abuse, verbal abuse, and financial abuse. The abuse can be between spouses or also stretch out to a child, sibling, or elderly relative.

Victims of abuse should seek a divorce whenever possible. The law is designed to be on their side, and by getting a professional lawyer in their corner it can help them achieve autonomy.


There are many forms of addiction. Drug and alcohol abuse are most common, but many marriages are also tainted by an addition to sex, pornography, or gambling. True addiction takes over someone’s life. This can lead to decreased intimacy, secrets, and compromised decision-making abilities. In many cases, addiction comes with a high financial cost and can put a job on the line. If a person is willing to get help with recovery, this can save a marriage. If recovery is unattainable, divorce is likely. Addiction issues may affect a divorce case.

Religious Differences

Many people may feel that it’s not a big deal to marry another who has varying religious views. However, over time, the differences can make a marriage unhappy. It’s important to have aligned values. Plus, the observation of weekly religious observations and different ideals about how to raise children can put strain on a marriage. Sometimes, religious viewpoints change during a marriage. When this happens, there can also be strife that leads to divorce.

Talk With a Divorce Attorney From Setzer Law Firm

For more information on each of these reasons and their effects on divorce cases in Texas, check out their individual articles that provide more information and then give us a call about the ones that apply to your case. No matter the reason for seeking a divorce, reach out to us. There are many legal causes for divorce, and our team can help you understand your options. Request a consultation with our experienced team today.

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