Grounds for Divorce in Texas – Part 6: Waiting is the Hardest Part
Tom Petty says it more poetically but Separation, per Merriam-Webster, is also grounds for divorce under Texas Statute. Section 6.007 puts it very succinctly, “The court may grant a divorce in favor of either spouse if the spouses have lived apart without cohabitation for at least three years.”
So, how is this different from our earlier topic of Abandonment? As we explained in Part 5, Abandonment is when one spouse leaves the other without consent and without intention of returning. The law requires a one year period before Abandonment can be considered as grounds for divorce.
Separation does not have the singular consent requirement but rather both spouses are consenting by agreeing to live apart. Also, the time period is three times longer than with abandonment. Perhaps the spouses are trying to repair the relationship and feel that this arrangement will aid that effort. Or, a career assignment for one spouse requires a prolonged absence. In any event, during that three year period, if the parties realize that the marriage is not sustainable, then a divorce suit can be brought after the three year period passes. The spouses must not have cohabitated during the period. Meaning that if the couple reconciles briefly then separates again, the clock starts over.
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