What is “insupportabilty”? We often encounter this question from new or prospective clients. According to the Texas Family Code: "the court may grant a divorce without regard to fault if the marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marital relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation.” Tex. Fam. Code §6.001. But what does this really mean?
Simply put, insupportability means unendurable, insufferable, and intolerable. Insupportability is a “no-fault” ground for divorce in Texas (meaning that a divorce can be granted without proof that one spouse was at fault for the breakup of the marriage). Insupportability is the basis upon which courts grant the vast majority of the divorces in this State.
While the spouse seeking the divorce must prove that the marriage is insupportable, mere conclusory testimony by one spouse (usually in the form of yes / no response to questions from the attorney) that the marriage has become insupportable and there is no reasonable expectation of reconciliation is sufficient to support the divorce. There is no requirement to establish the source or nature of the conflict, how long it has lasted, your efforts to fix it, or who is at fault.
There is no legal duty to reconcile in Texas. While there is a provision for counseling in the Family Code, plainly stated, there is really no defense to a petition for divorce based on insupportability – if one person wants to be divorced, there will be a divorce. No matter how much one spouse protests, Texas will not force you to stay married indefinitely against your will.