What Is a Contested Divorce in Texas?
Facing divorce is one of the most difficult, emotional, and life-changing moments in a person’s life. The dissolution of marriage can become very complicated and emotionally challenging. It is extremely important to hire an attorney who understands the legal system and can guide you through the process. Our family law practice is designed to help our clients permanently resolve their family law issues and help them start a new chapter in their life. Our goal is to see you happy and our attorneys stand ready to fight for you during this difficult time.
How Does a Contested Divorce Work?
While uncontested divorces mean you and your spouse agree on all of the relevant issues in ending your marriage, contested divorces are for those couples who don’t completely agree on these issues. Also, if one spouse has done something to make the marriage no longer work, they can file for a fault-based or contested divorce.
For instance, if your spouse cheated, you can file for a Texas divorce on the grounds of adultery. However, you will have to prove that your spouse is responsible for the end of the marriage. Contested divorces in Texas usually take longer because there are more opportunities for disagreement.
Grounds for a Fault-Based Texas Divorce
Grounds for a fault-based divorce In Texas include:
- Felony convictions
- Abandonment for one year or more
- Domestic violence or abuse
- Mental incapacitation
After filing for divorce, you will have to prove in court that your spouse has actually committed the act you are accusing them of. If the guilt is successfully established, that can affect a judge’s decision regarding child custody, visitation, and child support. The spouse filing for divorce may also receive a higher portion of the property when dividing the marital estate.
Steps in a Contested Divorce Case
The first step typically involves filing a Petition for Divorce, specifying the reasons for asking for a divorce as well as temporary orders the petitioner may need from the court. The petitioner will have to submit any requests, such as a temporary restraining order, along with their petition.
After filing, the divorce papers are served to the other spouse. The respondent, or the spouse who is served the divorce papers, has 20 days to file an answer. If the respondent has any claims against you, they can answer the divorce petition by filing a counterpetition.
The contested divorce process can involve different motions and court hearings on legal issues that come up during the divorce. However, most spouses negotiate a settlement at some point during the process. If a settlement is not reached, the case proceeds to trial.
How Can a Divorce Lawyer Help?
Just because you’ve filed for an uncontested divorce doesn’t mean you and your spouse will not face any legal dispute. However, these couples tend to reach an agreement.
Contested divorces, on the other hand, can be lengthy and messy. If you have filed for a contested divorce, make sure you hire an experienced divorce lawyer to help you protect your rights and navigate the system.
After discussing your case with our family law lawyer, you should have a better idea of whether you have a solid chance of proving your claims.
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