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Texas lawmaker seeks to end no fault divorce

A Texas politician wants to end the availability of ‘no fault divorce’ in his state.

Under the current law, there six reasons Texans can choose to divorce without assigning blame to their spouse.

If they do not go down the ‘no fault’ route, married couples in the so-called Lone Star State must cite one of six factors in order to demonstrate that their marriage has broken down enough to warrant a divorce. These are adultery, abandonment, cruelty, a felony conviction, if the couple has lived apart for at least three years, or if one of them has been confined to a mental hospital.

However Matt Krause, a Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives, wants to make this the case with all divorces. He said the law needed to have “some kind of mechanism to where that other spouse has a defence”. The bill he proposed “goes a long way” towards strengthening the family, he claimed.

Austin-based family lawyer Slav Talavera told a local news station that as many as 90 per cent of his divorce cases involved the no fault option. If lawyers have to tell their clients “not only do you have to go through this difficult process but we have to blame someone for this divorce, it’s going to be a lot harder” he insisted.

No fault divorce is currently available, in some form, in all 50 states of the union. Countries like Australia, Canada, Sweden, Spain, Russia and China also have it as an option for married couples, but the UK does not. Despite numerous efforts by some family law professionals to change the law, married couples must still use blame when they want to divorce in this country.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. Alan Finlayson says:

    I do find it extremely irritating when bloggers state the following:

    What’s a ‘no fault divorce’?

    “Is no fault divorce available in the UK?
    At the moment, no. Under English law one spouse must blame the other for the end of their relationship if they want to divorce……………….”

    There is no correlation between UK law and English law. Here in Scotland we have had a ‘no fault divorce procedure’ since 1976: the Simplified Divorce. Simplified Divorce (alternatively known in Scotland as ‘Do It Yourself) is available as long as both parties meet certain requirements, the basic one being based on one year separation with consent or two years separation without consent. The full requirements to meet simplified divorce procedure can be found here:

    The Divorce (Scotland) Act 1976, section 1 (2)(d) and (e)

  2. Andrew says:

    In practice we have no-fault divorce in England because almost anything one party alleges as unreasonable behaviour and the other does not defend will get you a decree nisi.

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