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Could divorce become more difficult in Texas?

The Texas Legislature is considering a new law that could bring an end to "no fault" divorces if it's voted into law. The lawmakers who want the new bill are saying that it's too easy for divorces to happen right now. They say that if one spouse wants out, and the other spouse wants to keep the marriage intact, the spouse who wants a divorce should have to prove his or her case.

The lawmakers who want the new law cited the example of a woman who is the mother of four and is currently facing divorce proceedings. The mother said that in her family of six, five of them -- which includes all her children -- do not want the divorce. The husband and father, on the other hand, wants to get out of the marriage. Under current "no fault" divorce laws, the father merely needs to file for divorce, and doesn't have to say who was at fault or give a reason for the dissolution of the marriage.

Opponents of the proposed legislation say that the law would make divorces more difficult and result in unnecessary legal proceedings that will only serve to increase the cost, time and stress associated with the process. Opponents further say that people who are trying to get a divorce due to an abusive relationship, could have a hard time dissolving their marriage if they're unable to prove fault.

The latest version of the bill revised the law to only apply to marriages with children. The law would require that -- in order for a divorce to occur for a couple that has children -- the spouse who wants the divorce would have to prove abandonment, cruelty, adultery or felony. Other reasons for divorce would include mental hospital confinement, or not living together for over three years.

Houston residents considering divorce may want to keep apprised of this new piece of proposed legislation. If lawmakers pass it into law, it's possible that it could affect one's divorce proceedings. Ultimately, it's best to consult directly with a Houston family law attorney to learn how new laws and potential new laws may apply to a particular divorce scenario.

Source: WSPA, "Texas bill making divorce harder gets early movement," accessed April 08, 2017

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