Grounds for Divorce in Texas – Part 5: You picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille
Apologies to Kenny Rogers but according to Texas Law, a spouse that intentionally leaves the other can be considered as Abandoning the marriage. That Abandonment can be considered grounds for divorce. Per Section 6.005, “The court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if the other spouse:
(1) left the complaining spouse with the intention of abandonment; and
(2) remained away for at least one year.”
Let’s break this down a bit. There are actually three things here. The first is the leaving spouse has to have the intention of abandonment. Scraping through the definitions, this means that the departing spouse has to leave and plans to never get back together again. It is understood that the spouse is leaving without the permission of the other spouse. Getting amnesia while out of the country is not abandonment. Thanks to Merriam-Webster for the definitions.
The second part is pretty straightforward. The departing spouse has to be gone for at least a year. It could be tough to prove when the clock starts on this point. A rule of thumb could be that the clock starts when the left spouse becomes aware that the departing spouse has no intention of returning.
The third consideration is in that first paragraph of the statute. “The court MAY…” The wronged spouse will have to prove that the abandonment is intentional and that they have made efforts of reapproachment with the departed spouse. The court is not under an obligation to accept abandonment as grounds to grant the divorce. Still, if properly presented to the court, it is a solid basis.
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