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What Legal Issues Apply When Felony Conviction Is Grounds for a Texas Divorce?

I hope that few of my clients will ever need to ask this question, but conviction for felony crimes can qualify as grounds for divorce and anyone citing these grounds may face some unique legal issues.

First, you need to determine if a felony conviction qualifies as grounds for divorce in your situation. Generally, these grounds are applicable when one spouse is convicted of a felony crime and incarcerated. However, according to the grounds for divorce in Texas family code, two situations do not permit a felony conviction as valid grounds for divorce:

  • When the individual was convicted on the testimony of the other spouse
  • When imprisonment extends for less than one year

Assuming the courts grant divorce on grounds of a felony conviction, Texas law permits a significant degree of judicial discretion when deciding settlement issues. Spouses who file on these grounds can receive a greater portion of the marital assets or even all remaining property belonging to the felon if the crime bankrupted the family. Additionally, while felons can conceivably retain parental rights, the courts can terminate them if the crime involved issues such as the following:

  • Child abuse
  • Injuring or killing a child
  • Attempted or actual murder of the other parent

Individuals forced to seek divorce on grounds of felony conviction need to take every precaution to protect themselves and their children. An experienced Lubbock divorce attorney can explore all available legal avenues for obtaining the best possible results in these complex cases.

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Robert Reid McInvale
Attorney at Law

Robert Reid McInvale is an experienced family law attorney with a comprehensive practice in Lubbock. He provides dedicated and strong advocacy for his clients, helping them with all the issues surrounding their divorce, separation, child custody, and other marriage and family matters. Attorney McInvale—Reid to clients and friends—seemed destined for a law career. Born while his father was attending Emory University Law School, Reid grew up in Manchester, GA. His father was the city attorney for many years, as well as head of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce. It is in the family blood to become lawyers and help people get justice. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall is part of the McInvale family tree.

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