A Finding of Cruelty Supports a Disproportionate Division of Property

Cruelty remains as one of several grounds for divorce in Texas. See Tex. Fam. Code § 6.002. Although it’s uncommon, courts still occasionally grant divorces based on cruelty. In Ward v. Ward, No. 04-12-00703-CV (Tex. App. – San Antonio Feb. 5, 2014) (mem. op.), the trial court did just that, granting the wife a divorce based on the husband’s cruelty. The trial court also awarded 61.5% of the community property to the wife. The San Antonio Court of Appeals held that the finding of cruelty was sufficient to support this disproportional division of the community estate in favor of the wife. In support of its decision, the court of appeals cited Newberry v. Newberry, 351 S.W.3d 552, 556 (Tex. App. – El Paso 2011, no pet.), in which a trial court based a disproportionate award of community property based on both cruelty and adultery.

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