Not every marriage lasts until “death do us part.” One situation where you might want to divorce is when your spouse has abandoned you.

Abandonment is a fault ground for divorce under Texas law; however, it might not be the right choice for your divorce.

In this article we’ll explain the requirements for obtaining an abandonment divorce in Texas.

We also will provide some considerations you should think through before choosing whether to go ahead and divorce on this ground.

Grounds for Divorce

Texas law provides for both fault and no-fault divorce. The no-fault option is called “insupportability,” which basically means the marriage is intolerable. In many ways, claiming insupportability is easier. If you claim a fault ground, like abandonment, then the judge will need to determine whether the ground really exists. This can be time consuming.

If you choose no-fault divorce, then the fact that you are seeking a divorce is usually enough.

Requirements for Abandonment Divorce in Texas

To claim abandonment as a ground for divorce, you must have been abandoned for at least a year. If your spouse is only absent for 6 months, then that is not enough, even if your spouse claimed they weren’t coming back.

Also, you need to prove that your spouse left with the intent to abandon you. If your spouse is away for work for 2 years but intends to return, then you have not been abandoned under the law.

What Are the Advantages of Seeking an Abandonment Divorce in Texas?

The primary reason to seek an abandonment divorce is that you might receive more marital property that way. Texas is a community property state, meaning that a couple’s marital property is divided 50/50 automatically.

However, Texas law allows a judge to depart from this 50/50 split if there has been marital misconduct. Abandonment is one version of marital misconduct, which means you might get more community property if you prove your spouse has abandoned you.

Unfortunately, a judge is not required to give you more property. Ultimately, it is up to the judge.

So you might find that you have waited a year to seek an abandonment divorce in Texas only to get the same amount of community property you would have received had you sought a no-fault divorce.

Does Abandonment Affect Child Custody?

It could. Texas judges begin with a presumption that both parents should have ongoing relations with their children. However, if your spouse has abandoned you and the children, then a judge might not apply this presumption.

Of course, you don’t need to seek a fault-based divorce to point out to a judge that your spouse has abandoned the family. You could still file a no-fault divorce but raise the abandonment during the child custody portion of the divorce.

Is an Abandonment Divorce Right for You?

Filing for divorce is a weighty decision. We are here for you. The Law Office of Ben Carrasco has helped many Texans get the divorce they want, without fuss. Contact our office today to schedule consultation, 512-489-9820.

About the Author
Ben Carrasco is a highly skilled family law attorney based in Austin, Texas, known for his extensive expertise in family law and business litigation. While his primary focus is family law, Ben brings a wealth of experience in litigating diverse business disputes, ranging from breach of contract and collections to business torts, fraud, and real estate matters. In his family law practice, Ben navigates all aspects of the field, including divorce, child custody, support, property division, and more, offering clients expert guidance throughout the litigation process. His legal journey began in complex commercial litigation, initially with a global law firm and later with a prominent Austin-based firm. However, driven by a desire to make a direct impact on people's lives and embrace the human element of the law, Ben transitioned to family law, a decision that has proven to be deeply rewarding. A proud Austin native with roots in California, Ben completed his undergraduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley, before earning his law degree at Stanford Law School, where he excelled in legal writing and served as an associate editor of the Stanford Law and Policy Review.