Two Types of Divorce in Texas
The majority of divorce cases are “no-fault” divorces. In a no-fault divorce, the two parties simply have “irreconcilable differences” or could not get along.
The other type of divorce is “fault-based” divorce, which means there is a shortcoming on one party or has aggrieved the other party, based on legal grounds. One example of those legal grounds is abandonment.
Definition of Abandonment in Texas Law
Abandonment is being left alone to take care of the home and fulfill all parental duties of the child.
Texas law has two conditions to constitute abandonment. First, the spouse must have been absent for a continuous period of one year. Second, the spouse made a willing and intentional decision to leave. This leaves off missing persons, or victims of abduction or kidnapping.
This ground of abandonment can be proven in court by presenting testimonies, documents, or letters.
Abandonment Affects Child Custody
The abandoned parent ends up having added responsibilities. He/she has to deal with the children’s needs: emotional, physical, mental and financial- alone.
The main issue is the conservatorship of the children in a divorce on the grounds of abandonment. Conservatorship deals with the fulfillment of the duties and responsibilities of the children as opposed to possession. The parent charged with abandonment will usually lose custody.
Abandonment Affects a Spouse’s Share in the Community Property
The State of Texas upholds the concept of community property.
Both spouses have an equal share of all property acquired during the marriage in a community property regime. However, in cases of abandonment, the court may deviate from the 50/50 arrangement.
The innocent parent will naturally have a bigger share because of having custody of the child.