If you are ready to file for divorce, you need to know your options. In
the state of Texas, individuals have the option to file for either a contested
or an uncontested divorce, depending on their situation. When couples
have a high degree of conflict or disagreements, a contested divorce is
the most likely option, whereas couples who have very few disagreements
might opt for an uncontested divorce.
Although the two options may seem simple, the choice between a contested
and an uncontested divorce can be a complex one. If you are trying to
decide which divorce process is right for you, make sure you know about
the pros and cons of each choice.
The Uncontested Divorce Process
Though the outcome of an uncontested and contested divorce is the same,
the process varies significantly. As the name implies, an uncontested
divorce refers to little contestation from either party. In other words,
both spouses must be in agreement.
If you chose to file for an uncontested divorce, both you and your spouse
must agree to the divorce itself, and to several other conditions of your
division. In order to go through this process successfully, the couple
must not contest major decisions pertaining to their divorce, such as
property division, and
spousal support. While couples who choose an uncontested divorce process can still seek
the assistance of a mediator and/or attorney, they will have much less
input than they would if they filed of a contested divorce. In many cases,
uncontested divorces are settled outside of the courtroom, making it less
expensive and much quicker than a traditional, contested divorce.
Choosing a Contested Divorce
When couples cannot agree about major conditions of their divorce, including
child custody, property division, spousal support, or other important
factors, they would do better to file for a
contested divorce. The contested divorce doesn’t necessarily mean that either spouse
objects to the divorce itself. In fact, both parties could wholeheartedly
agree to the divorce, but a contested divorce might still be their best
option if they cannot agree about the major conditions of their split.
Through a contested divorce, the couple will go before a judge and present
their case. The court will ultimately decide how these issues, (custody,
support payments, property division, and so on), will be resolved.
Know Your Legal Options
Whatever you think will be your best option, it’s always best to
discuss your current situation with a
divorce attorney who has extensive experience dealing with cases like yours. If you wish
to be divorced as quickly as possible, the uncontested divorce process
could help save you both time and money. However, if you have a particularly
contentious relationship with your ex, and you know that you do not see
eye to eye on certain matters, you should prepare for the contested divorce process.
If you aren’t sure which divorce process is best for you, our firm
is here to help.
Contact the Law Office of Kathryn Marteeny to discuss your situation with our Houston family lawyers.