Protecting Your Family's Future

How a Contested Divorced Differs From an Uncontested One

Differences Between Contested Divorce and Uncontested Divorce

Having a good understanding of the main differences between an uncontested divorce and a contested divorce should provide you with the information you need to select the type of divorce that’s right for you. Even when you’ve done everything you can to make a marriage work, there are times when the only thing left to do is seek a divorce. In the state of Texas, the divorce rate was 2.6 per every 1,000 inhabitants in 2015. When you’re considering filing for a divorce, the two options available to you are a contested divorce and an uncontested one, and you should be familiar with each one before beginning your divorce proceedings.

What Is an Uncontested Divorce?

The big reason that there are two main types of divorce is because there are a variety of issues that must be agreed upon by both parties. These issues include:

  • The custody of any children
  • The division of property
  • Division of any debt
  • Payment of both child and spousal support

The only way to proceed with a divorce is for both parties to agree on each of these four issues. An uncontested divorce is one where both spouses will agree on every issue without needing to go to court. Determinations about child support amounts and spousal support will generally be made as an agreement between the two individuals that is binding when they’re filing for a divorce. This type of divorce is typically the less complicated one.

What Is a Contested Divorce?

The four issues mentioned previously can be very complicated to handle. Even if both spouses agree on 99 percent of the issues, that final percentage point can be the difference between a contested divorce and an uncontested one. There are times when a contested divorce will begin but an agreement is eventually reached before the case actually goes in front of a judge. This is referred to as a settlement and is largely similar to an uncontested divorce. Even if it appears as though a contested divorce is the only option left open to an individual, the assistance of a family law attorney may be able to help bring both spouses to an agreement.

contested divorceA contested divorce can be a complex one. A judge will hear every detail of the case and make determinations on all of the aforementioned issues. A contested divorce will typically arise because of hefty financial stakes, technical aspects that may be difficult to resolve, or comprehensive issues that might require knowledge of the law to solve. While an uncontested divorce can be completed without ever going to court, a contested one must go before a judge. The process is a lengthy one that typically begins with the signing of a divorce petition and extends through the discovery process and the actual trial. Another option to consider during divorce proceedings is divorce mediation, which involves a third party that handles negotiations between each spouse.

How to Navigate the Divorce Process

While it’s possible to navigate the divorce process by yourself, you might want to obtain the assistance of a family law attorney like ours. Our divorce attorney can help you understand your rights when it comes to a divorce. If you decide to retain the services of our attorney, she will help you navigate the divorce process. A divorce can be as simple or as complicated as each spouse makes it. However, we understand that it can be difficult to divide marital property or make a decision on child custody without the advice of an attorney, which is why we aim to handle most of the work for you.

When you file for a divorce in Texas, there’s a large amount of paperwork to fill out and a substantial number of rules that can determine how and if you can file for a divorce. If you believe that you need assistance with these aspects of the process, our family law attorney is on hand to help you with whatever you need.

No matter which type of divorce you’re facing, call our family law attorney in Baytown at (281) 420-8020 to set up a consultation.

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