Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce in Texas

A hand with a pen and two sets of wedding rings

There are two main types of divorce in Texas: contested divorce and uncontested divorce. The following blog post describes what to expect with each type of divorce. 

Uncontested Divorce 

In an uncontested divorce, both spouses agree on all divorce-related issues (e.g., property division, child custody, child support, spousal support, etc.) and sign an agreement to avoid court litigation. This simplified divorce process is much quicker and less expensive compared to a contested divorce. 

In order to file for an uncontested divorce in Texas, you must meet the following requirements: 

  • Both spouses agree on ending the marriage 

  • Both spouses agree on the “ground” for the divorce 

  • There are no minor children 

  • You and your spouse do not own property together 

  • You and your spouse do not have retirement benefits to divide 

  • You and your spouse are not seeking spousal support 

  • Neither spouse has an ongoing bankruptcy case 

You must file the required paperwork for divorce – and pay a filing fee – in the county where you reside. If you and your spouse live in different counties in Texas, you can file in either county. 

Once you file, there is a 60-day waiting period to complete a divorce. When the waiting period expires, the county clerk will set a final hearing with the judge to complete your divorce. 

Contested Divorce 

In contrast, a contested divorce means that the couple does not agree on one or more divorce-related issues. Although you and your spouse have an opportunity to work out your disagreements in mediation, if that approach is unsuccessful then the court will need to intervene and make these decisions on your behalf. 

Here is a generalized breakdown of the contested divorce process in Texas: 

  • You or your spouse must file a divorce petition, which includes information regarding you, your spouse, the marriage, and all divorce-related issues. 

  • The spouse who files the petition must serve the other spouse, often using a process server. 

  • When you or the other spouse receive the petition, you have a certain number of days to file an answer and/or also file a counter-petition. 

  • You and your spouse – along with your attorneys – will undergo discovery, which is a formal process to exchange financial information (e.g., bank records, tax returns, property values, appraisals, investment portfolios, retirement accounts, etc.) to work on a settlement and/or prepare for trial. 

  • A hearing will be scheduled to issue temporary orders regarding child custody and visitation, child support, and how finances are handled. 

  • Lastly, a final hearing or trial will be scheduled and a judge will decide on all items which the parties have not agreed to. 

Whether you are going through a contested or uncontested divorce, it is important to have an experienced family law attorney on your side to guide you through the complexities of the legal process. 

If you are interested in filing for a divorce in McKinney, contact Camille Borg Law PLLC today at (469) 646-7763 to learn how we can help you. Get effective and personalized legal solutions immediately! 

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