What is the Difference Between a Contested and Uncontested Divorce?
Posted on in Divorce
Spouses seeking divorce need to start collecting information before the process can begin. After all, even the most simple and straightforward divorces involve extensive paperwork and court appearances, and small mistakes can mean long delays. One of the most common questions Texas divorce attorneys get is regarding the difference between contested and uncontested divorce, and whether a couple qualifies for one or the other. It is important to understand the difference between the two, and that, even if you think you and your spouse agree on all the terms of the divorce, you speak to a divorce attorney before making any final decisions.
As the name implies, an uncontested divorce is one in which both spouses agree to all the terms of the divorce. Depending on the marriage, this can include the following issues:
Child custody and visitation (possession and access)
While the issues can be condensed into these five categories, the details themselves are rarely so simple. Often, a couple believes they agree about the factors involved in their divorce and only to find they disagree heartily when it comes down to the nitty-gritty decision-making. However, if spouses are truly of one mind in every aspect of divorce, they may file for an uncontested divorce.
Uncontested divorces generally move much faster and are less expensive than contested divorces. Even when spouses do not agree, they can avoid many common divorce pitfalls by pursuing mediation or collaborative divorce before filing and then, once they have reached an agreement on every issue, file for an uncontested divorce.
When couples disagree about even one issue, they will need to file for a contested divorce. This is most common when one or both spouses refuse to negotiate, when domestic violence has been present in the relationship, or when interpersonal conflict makes negotiation impossible. If a spouse wants to pursue a contested divorce, he or she must list the grounds for divorce and then prove those circumstances using evidence.
A contested divorce can be hard on everyone involved. It is generally more expensive and can take many months to resolve. Children often struggle with parental conflict in a contested divorce, even when the disagreements are over the children’s best interests. In a contested divorce, spouses may find that mediation is helpful for resolving these issues. However, when this is not possible, a judge can make decisions on behalf of the couple according to Texas law.
Call a Parker, TX Uncontested Divorce Lawyer
Even spouses pursuing a low-conflict, straightforward divorce can benefit from having the help of an experienced Collin County divorce attorney. At Law Office of Brian Bagley, we are here to help with your divorce needs, whether big or small. Call us today at (972) 843-7158 to schedule your free consultation and start the divorce process now.