As divorce rates decline around the nation, and according to the Houston Chronicle, fall even faster in Texas, one lawmaker has introduced a bill to re-attach fault to divorces. A Republican representative out of Fort Worth, Matt Krause, has proposed an end to no-fault divorces in the Lonestar state. Krause believes that removing “insupportability” as grounds for filing divorce and forcing a couple to assign blame to one party in order to end the marriage could help to preserve these unions.
Krause wrote this bill, he says, as a way to demonstrate to couples that the state of Texas is pro-families and believes in the sanctity of marriage. Detractors of the bill believe the only people who will be helped are divorce lawyers, who will likely be enlisted to help wealthier clients build evidence against a spouse. However, divorce lawyers interviewed did not think the bill was a good idea. Some had concern that the law would favor the wealthy, who could more easily afford lawyers, that it could keep people stuck in abusive relationships and that marriages would end on even more contentious terms, which could hurt the children involved.
Under this suggested new change, the Star-Telegram states a couple would need to prove one spouse responsible for the dissolution of marriage with grounds for divorce including “cruelty, adultery, abandonment, conviction of a felony or being confined in a mental hospital.” Otherwise, a couple would have to live apart for three full years before being granted a peaceful dissolution of their union.
Although the bill is unlikely to be voted into law, Krause has also proposed a different bill, which would prevent a divorce from being granted before 180 days from the filing date if minors or high schools students are living in the home.