Many people going through a divorce have fantasies about testifying in court about everything their ex ever did wrong. It’s normal to have thoughts like this, but the truth is that most divorces in Texas today are uncontested and settled out of court through negotiation. However, there are still some cases where the parties cannot resolve their issues without going to court, and there are still some divorces that are contested.
Put simply, an uncontested divorce is one where the parties agree to dissolve their marriage by agreement or default. (Default in this case means that one party fails to respond to the other’s petition for divorce.) In a contested divorce, one party wants a divorce but the other won’t agree and won’t default.
Under Texas law, an unwilling spouse cannot stop the other from obtaining a divorce. If the spouse seeking to dissolve the marriage tells the court they believe the relationship is irrevocably broken, a judge will grant the divorce. However, some spouses make the process harder by filing an answer or waiver to the divorce petition and failing to sign the final decree of divorce.
Contested cases can be resolved through a final hearing, but this is not an easy matter. A lawyer can help with all kinds of divorces, contested or uncontested, but is absolutely crucial in the case of a contested divorce.
There are many issues that can complicate divorce. When young children are involved, child custody becomes a major concern. When the couple is wealthy, property division issues are often quite complicated. If you are considering divorce, it is a good idea to seek out help from an attorney with experience in family law, so that you can learn more about your legal options.