Contested Divorce

If you believe your divorce may be "Uncontested," click here for more information

Being in a divorce is incredibly stressful.  If you are going through a divorce, contemplating one, or anticipating a divorce will be filed against you, you are going through a life changing event.  Your life will never be the same.  It may be better, it may be worse, but it will never be the same.


In Texas, a court can grant a divorce based upon "no-fault" grounds, fault grounds, or both.  A no-fault divorce is based upon a finding that the marriage has become "insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marriage" and that there is no reasonable hope of reconciliation.


The fault grounds recognized in Texas include Cruelty, Adultery, Conviction of a Felony, and Abandonment.  Although most Texas divorces do not include the allegation of any fault grounds, doing so can be the pathway to seeking a disproportionate share of the marital estate -- the community property.  The conduct of the parties that can be considered by the court in evaluating fault grounds is all which has occurred before the divorce being granted.  That means that Adultery during the pendency of the divorce can be considered by the court.  


Generally, a court cannot grant a Texas divorce until 60 days have passed from the date of filing.  The 60 day waiting period has to occur, even if both parties agree to all of the terms of the divorce.  


Also, every divorce, even a so-called "Uncontested Divorce" requires three things: a petition, some form of service or waiver, and a final decree.  


It is a misconception that there are two distinct types of divorce -- uncontested and contested.  A divorce is a divorce.  It is a form of a lawsuit, and it can only end in one of two ways -- settlement or trial.  An "uncontested" divorce is simply a divorce that is relatively free of arguments and legal fights between the parties and is typically settled after little or no discovery, motions, or hearings.


Most divorces end in a settlement -- whether the settlement happens immediately or after some form of "contesting" by the parties. Regardless of how "contested" the divorce will be, it is important to have a game plan.  While you may think you know the extent to which your spouse will fight, until the case begins to proceed and things are presented in writing, you really don't know.  Although very few divorces end in a jury trial, it is vital that your attorney knows how to prepare and try a case.


Here are some Beal Law Firm Resources that may help you with your Divorce questions:

Divorce: Five Things to Think About before it happens

The Importance of Filing First:
Why being the first to file matters

Hiring a Divorce Attorney: Common Questions

Understanding Texas No-Fault Divorce

What is Collaborative Divorce?

Collaborative Divorce: Top 5 Questions

Property Division in Divorce

Mediation: How does that work?

Top Twelve Mistakes People Make When Facing Divorce

Find other answers on our Resources Page and Blog