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

uncontested vs contested divorce texasEvery divorce is different, and depending on your situation you and your spouse may either qualify for a contested or an uncontested divorce in Texas.

There are very strict requirements for an uncontested divorce, so it is important that you speak with an experienced divorce attorney before you make this decision.

At the Tidwell Law Firm, our knowledgeable divorce attorneys will be able to discuss the particulars of your case to determine whether you should proceed with a contested or an uncontested divorce.

What is an Uncontested Divorce?

The differences in a contested v. uncontested divorce are fairly straightforward. Couples in Texas may qualify for an uncontested divorce, also known as a simple divorce, if there are no unresolved matters in their divorce settlement.

This includes being in complete agreement on all issues, including the distribution of property, parental decision-making responsibilities, parental visitation, amount and duration of child support, amount and duration of spousal support, and any other divorce-related issues. If there is even one small thing that a couple does not agree on, they must go through the contested divorce process.

One final benefit of an uncontested divorce is that the cost of an uncontested divorce is typically cheaper than a contested divorce because the process is much faster and resolved quickly.

What is a Contested Divorce?

A contested divorce in Texas is what most people think of when they think about the divorce process. Couples can either go through traditional divorce litigation in court or resolve their contested differences in divorce mediation. Spouses are required to file for a contested divorce if there are any unresolved issues regarding their divorce proceedings on items such as the division of the marital estate, child support or custody, and alimony.

Most couples with minor children will enter into a contested divorce because rarely do the parents initially agree on where their child should live or how much should be paid in support.

A spouse must also file for a contested divorce if the other spouse refuses to sign the divorce petition. In an uncontested divorce, both spouses willingly sign the divorce papers, but if one refuses, the spouse filing the petition must go through the contested process.

Many clients ask, “do you have to sign divorce papers?” The answer is no; however, that does not stop a contested divorce. It merely robs the spouse who refuses to sign off their rights of their decision making authority during the contested divorce proceeding.

Contested divorces are almost always more expensive and take longer to finalize than an uncontested divorce because of the schedule of the courts, litigation between parties, and time it takes to settle issues when the arguments are contentious.

Contact Our Expert Divorce Attorneys Today

To learn more about uncontested and contested divorce in Texas, call or contact the Tidwell Law Firm in Texas today.

Schedule a consultation with one of our experienced divorce attorneys to learn more about your legal options for divorce filings. Together, we can figure out which path might be best for you and your family.

Author Photo

Jerry Tidwell

Jerry Tidwell founded the Tidwell Law Firm, PLLC in 2006. Jerry graduated cum laude with a Juris Doctor degree from the Texas Tech University School of Law. As a member of the State Bar of Texas, Jerry has over 14 years of legal experience and practices family and criminal defense law. He has earned a Superb rating by Avvo. To learn more, read Jerry’s full bio here.

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