Traditional–or contested–divorce is quite similar to a lawsuit. You and your ex are the parties. Both of you hire attorneys who file documents with the court. The parties try to negotiate a settlement, but if talks break down, you will have court hearings and present evidence to a judge, who will issue a ruling.
For many couples, this is the best version of divorce. But it is not the only way to get divorced in Texas. An uncontested divorce is an alternative that might save you time, money and stress — if you and your ex can make it work.
What is uncontested divorce?
As the name implies, an uncontested divorce is one in which the spouses agree on all relevant issues, such as:
- How to divide the community property
- Child custody
- Child support
- Whether one spouse will receive spousal maintenance (alimony)
Many couples find they are both motivated to wrap up the divorce as quickly as possible to minimize legal costs and emotional strife. If they can agree on these crucial matters ahead of time, a couple can get divorced as soon as 60 days after filing the Petition for Divorce. Although couples can get an uncontested divorce without legal assistance, it’s smart to have an attorney help you through the process to ensure you’re getting everything you’re entitled to.
Uncontested divorce is not right for every case
Uncontested divorces, despite their name, can often present challenges. In even the least contentious divorces, conflicts are possible. There is a lot at stake, both financially and emotionally. If you and your ex cannot work out a settlement on at least one issue, you will likely have to go through a contested divorce.
Either way, it’s best to hire an attorney. If your divorce is uncontested, your lawyer will help you prepare the necessary documents and make sure they get filed correctly and on time. And if a contest is necessary, you can rely on your attorney’s negotiation and litigation experience to help you reach an outcome that respects your rights as a spouse and parent.