Cruelty can have an impact on divorce proceedings in Texas as it is considered one of the grounds for a fault-based divorce. Under Texas law, cruelty is defined as any treatment that is so severe and inhumane that it renders living together intolerable. Cruelty requires 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) Examples of cruelty may include physical abuse, emotional abuse, and other forms of mistreatment.
If one spouse can prove that the other spouse has been cruel, the court may take this into account when determining issues such as property division, spousal support, and child custody. Specifically, the court may award a larger share of the marital property to the victim spouse, as well as award spousal support if necessary. Additionally, if the cruel behavior had a negative impact on the children, the court may be more likely to award custody to the non-cruel spouse.
It is important to note, however, that proving cruelty can be difficult, as it often requires evidence such as witness testimony or medical records. Furthermore, Texas is a no-fault divorce state, which means that a spouse can also seek a divorce without proving any fault grounds. Ultimately, the impact of cruelty on a divorce in Texas will depend on the specific circumstances of the case and how well the evidence can be presented to the court.
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.
For more information, contact Deitchle + Simone
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