Texas Contested Divorce Attorneys
What is a Contested Divorce?
In Texas, your divorce is considered contested if there is at least one issue regarding the divorce that you and your spouse do not agree upon. However, contested divorce does not mean that your divorce case is necessarily contentious or that it will be litigated. Rather, it is possible for you and your spouse to agree that the best option to resolve your divorce issues is through the Collaborative Divorce model.
It is also possible that tools such as attorney negation, mediation, settlement conferences, or other alternative dispute resolution options could be utilized to accomplish agreements in the divorce case. A contested divorce can also include exchanging sworn financial inventories, written discovery, depositions, hearings, and other litigation options. Your family law attorney can help you decide which of these options would be a good fit for your specific situation.
What are the Steps of a Contested Divorce in Texas?
The basic steps for most contested family law cases include:
- Petitioner Files Petition
- Respondent Answers
- Temporary Orders Hearing*
- Final Trial
- Closing Documents
* Some cases may have additional hearings if immediate concerns need to be addressed by the court; likewise, some steps in the process may be shortened or skipped.
It is important to note that the steps of a contested divorce depend on the divorce option you choose. A contested divorce can be settled in a variety of ways, including collaborative divorce, mediation, litigation, or settlement negotiations. Every divorce is different, so it’s important to get an experienced attorney who understands your situation and educates you about the different divorce options that are the best fit for you and your family.
Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce
An uncontested divorce is when you and your spouse agree to all the terms of your divorce. A contested divorce is everything else, meaning you and your spouse do not agree on one or more of the issues of your divorce. In many divorce cases that are initially contested, the spouses, with the help of skilled attorneys, are able to reach agreements to resolve their divorce issues. However, in some high-conflict divorce situations, agreements are not possible. In this situation, Court intervention will be necessary to finalize the divorce.
What Happens if One Spouse Doesn’t Want to Divorce?
The desire to divorce is not always mutual. Sometimes a spouse who wants to remain married believes that by not signing divorce papers or cooperating in the divorce process, he or she will be able to stop the divorce.
However, under the Texas Family Code, one spouse cannot trap the other spouse in the marriage by refusing to divorce. Rather, this just classifies the divorce as a contested divorce. If your spouse is refusing to move forward with a divorce, contact one of our Austin, Dallas, or Plano divorce lawyers who will guide you through the steps of a contested divorce.
Work with Our Trusted Contested Divorce Attorneys in Texas
At Goranson Bain Ausley, we understand that a contested divorce can be mentally and emotionally taxing. Our family lawyers are skilled in resolving disputes without escalating conflict. With smart and strategic advice, we help our clients take the long view, seeing beyond the emotions of the moment to protect children’s well-being and preserve assets for the future. Our attorneys are experienced in every aspect of contested divorce and are ready to help clients by discussing options, strategy, and best next steps. Our services for a contested divorce include collaborative divorce, mediation, negotiated divorce, or divorce litigation.