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Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce

Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce

Learn about what differentiates these two types of divorces.

In Texas, there are two kinds of divorce: contested and uncontested. In an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse agree to the divorce and all terms of the divorce. In an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse can not come to an agreement on one or more of the terms of the divorce. While both contested and uncontested divorces end with a finalized divorce, the details and processes of the two have some major differences.

An uncontested divorce is a much more streamlined process than a contested divorce. You and your spouse have agreed on everything and so you spend very little time in court. It is a relatively quick and inexpensive process. However, it can be very difficult to qualify for an uncontested divorce. You and you spouse must not only agree to get a divorce, but you must agree on:

Texas requires that you and your spouse have lived in the state for at least 6 months prior to filing for divorce to qualify for an uncontested divorce. Additionally, you and your spouse must not have minor children together. You and your spouse must also not own any business or property together or have any retirement benefits that need to be divided.

In an uncontested divorce, you will usually be divorced on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. If you are seeking a contested divorce, you will not only need to list the grounds for the divorce, but also be prepared to show proof supporting those grounds. In Texas, grounds for a contested divorce include:

  • Adultery
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Bigamy
  • Felony conviction
  • Impotency and sterility
  • Abandonment, refusal, or neglecting to provide for a spouse although one is able to do so

While coming to an agreement on all of the terms of a divorce can be very difficult, if you and your spouse are able to do so, it will be a much shorter and less costly divorce process. In a contested divorce, you and your spouse will go back and forth on all unresolved divorce issues. If you cannot come to any sort of agreement, the judge will decide on the issue. An uncontested divorce avoids all of the back and forth in court. Less time in court will almost always result in lower costs.

Whether your divorce is contested or uncontested, The Law Office of Kyle Whitaker is there for you during this major life transition. Even if your divorce starts out as uncontested, things can go wrong very quickly and then the divorce turns into a contested one. Be cautiously optimistic, but be prepared. If you are in the midst of divorce, contact The Law Office of Kyle Whitaker for divorce legal counsel you can lean on throughout the divorce process. Our Fort Worth divorce lawyers have more than 20 years of experience helping individuals and families through divorce. Contact us today by calling (817) 332-7703 or go online to set up a confidential consultation.