Cruelty can have a significant impact on divorce proceedings and can even be grounds for divorce in Texas. Texas is both a fault-based and no-fault based divorce state. While most divorces fall under no-fault grounds, cruelty, adultery, felony conviction, and abandonment are all considered grounds for divorce. 

The Legal Impact of Cruelty During Divorce

     Under Texas law, cruelty requires willful and persistent infliction of unnecessary suffering. Ayala v. Ayala, 387 S.W.3d 721, 733 (Tex.App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2011, no pet). This can include physical abuse, verbal abuse, and even neglect. 

     In Texas, cruelty is considered a fault-based ground for divorce, which means that the spouse who is found to have committed cruelty can receive a lesser share of the community estate. A court can also consider cruelty in determining the amount, duration, and manner of any spousal-maintenance payments that are awarded. Tex. Fam. Code § 8.052(2). The court can take into consideration abuse when determining who will live in the marital home during divorce and when making parenting time and conservatorship decisions. 

The Emotional Impact of Cruelty During Divorce

     The impact of cruelty on a divorce can be severe. It can cause emotional distress, trauma, and even physical harm to the victim. This can make the divorce process more difficult, as the person who has experienced cruelty may struggle to cope with the trauma of the abuse and the process of ending the marriage. It is highly recommended that people who have experienced cruelty in their marriage work with a licensed mental health professional who is trauma informed. This can help the person experiencing cruelty gain confidence and begin the emotional healing process. 

The Impact of Cruelty on Children 

     Cruelty can also have a long-term impact on the children of the marriage. Children who have witnessed or been the victims of abuse may struggle with emotional and psychological issues, such as anxiety and depression, in the years following the divorce. It is important for anyone experiencing cruelty in their marriage to seek help and support. This can include counseling, support groups, and legal assistance. 

     If you or someone you know is experiencing cruelty in their marriage, it is important to reach out for help and to consider filing for divorce if the situation is unsafe.

     Questions about the material contained in today’s blog post? Contact Bustos Family Law PLLC. 

     If you have any questions about the material contained in today’s blog post, please do not hesitate to contact Bustos Family Law PLLC. Our licensed family law attorneys offer consultations that can be booked by calling our phone number 512-766-2768. These consultations are a great tool to learn more about your options in divorce. For more great blogs posts, click here.