What Is the Difference Between Contested and Uncontested Divorce in Texas?

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If you are considering a divorce in Texas, you should understand how divorce cases can differ from case to case. Experienced divorce attorneys know how particular circumstances in each case can affect asset division, child custody, and requests for spousal and child support.

You may need to pursue a contested divorce or qualify for an uncontested one. You will want to identify the applicable path and understand the implications of these distinctions. Below, we will introduce the categories of divorce in Texas, along with some explanations of what they might mean for you. Speak with an experienced divorce lawyer from Youngblood Law, PLLC, to discuss several critical factors in Texas that could affect your divorce case.

Texas Is a No-Fault Divorce State

To file for divorce in Texas, you do not have to prove fault by your spouse for any wrongdoing leading to your request for dissolution of the marriage. You may also file an at-fault divorce under specific conditions, but you must prove your spouse committed the acts for the judge or court system to grant the divorce. Reasons to file an at-fault divorce include:

  • Cruelty
  • Felony conviction
  • Separation or living apart
  • Abandonment
  • Mental institution confinement
  • Adultery

If you file for an at-fault divorce, you must prove the conditions justify a divorce. Because of this limitation, many divorce attorneys recommend filing a no-fault divorce.

You may need to file an at-fault divorce if your spouse refuses to agree to a no-fault divorce or refuses to aid your argument for division of property, alimony, child custody, or child support.

To file any divorce in Texas, you or your spouse must have been Texas residents for no less than six months and have lived in the county where you are filing for the last 90 days.

Filing for Uncontested Divorce in Texas

Texas limits the conditions under which you can file for an uncontested divorce. You and your spouse must:

  • agree on the amicable division of assets following the divorce
  • not seek alimony
  • not have a current case for bankruptcy proceedings
  • not have minor children together
  • agree to dissolve the marriage

To file for an uncontested divorce, you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse must complete and file the appropriate divorce forms, and your divorce attorney can guide you through this process. Texas requires a 60-day “cooling off” period before the final hearing, where the judge will sign the Final Decree of Divorce.

After the divorce, neither party may remarry during the 30-day window for appeals, allowing for the possibility that either spouse may change their mind. Once the window to appeal passes, either spouse is free to remarry.

Filing for Contested Divorce in Texas

If you and your spouse don’t qualify for an uncontested divorce or disagree on the divorce terms, you must file for a contested divorce. Ensure that you have an experienced Texas divorce lawyer. You should consider a contested divorce when you need to negotiate specific terms, including:

  • division of community property (marital assets purchased or acquired together)
  • asset division or finances
  • child custody and child support
  • spousal support (alimony)

The other spouse will typically contest their fault for the divorce, if only due to the implications so that at-fault divorce proceedings will constitute a contested divorce. Your divorce attorney can help you build a case for your fair share of marital assets, child custody, child support, and spousal support.

The spouse filing for divorce (petitioner) must file with the court and serve a copy to the other party (respondent). The respondent has 20 days through the following Monday to file their response with the court clerk. Either party may file a temporary restraining order (TRO) to protect themselves from harassment and prevent their spouse from selling, devaluing, or destroying marital property.

If your case goes to court, the court will divide community property and determine additional terms such as child custody, child support, and alimony based on several contributing factors, including length of the marriage, individual contribution to the home, and what’s in the best interest of the child.

How Do I Find The Right Lawyer for Divorce Near Me in Fort Worth, TX?

You don’t need to search for “divorce lawyers near me” when researching lawyers for divorce in Texas, as Youngblood Law addresses each unique divorce case with a custom approach. By devoting personalized attention to your situation, we can better position you for success in your case.

Each divorce case is unique, and some processes may not apply to yours. Depending on the tone of your relationship or disagreements, we can take steps to adjust our approach towards leveraging those circumstances to your favor. We avoid creating toxic confrontations through the divorce process and are committed to pursuing your right to a fair portion of your marital assets.

Youngblood Law, PLLC: Definitive, Decisive, Dedicated

At Youngblood Law, PLLC, we have been practicing for over eight years as family law attorneys. Our family law firm offers legal services for divorce, adoption, child custody, child support, and more. We know divorce can include some difficult changes, and we strive to provide our clients peace of mind so they can move on in pursuit of a better life.

Call Youngblood Law, PLLC today at (817) 601-5345, or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation with an experienced divorce lawyer. We proudly serve Tarrant County, Denton County, Johnson County, and Parker County near Fort Worth, TX.

Copyright © 2022. Youngblood Law, PLLC. All rights reserved.

The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

Youngblood Law, PLLC
2501 Parkview Dr Ste. 500
Fort Worth, TX 76102
(817) 601-5345

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