What Are the Differences? When Should You Consider an Uncontested Divorce?
Your marriage has ended. You may have many unresolved issues related to custody, visitation, support and the division of marital property or you may both simply be done with the marriage. In Texas, as in every state, you have a couple of options when filing for divorce—contested and uncontested.
What Is the Basic Difference between Contested and Uncontested Divorce?
An uncontested divorce is exactly what the term suggests—the termination of a marriage without significant disagreement about the basic terms of custody, visitation, child and spousal support and the division of debts and assets under the Texas community property laws. It’s important to understand, though, that an uncontested divorce is not the same thing as a “no-fault” divorce. In a no-fault divorce, the parties may be unable to agree on how the basic issues will be resolved, but neither party seeks to “blame’ the other party for bringing about the divorce. Instead, the parties will simply tell the court that the marriage cannot continue because of “irreconcilable differences.” Because the issues involved are not in dispute, an uncontested divorce can often be finalized in a matter of months.
In a contested divorce, there remains some issue related to custody, visitation, support or property that the parties cannot resolve without the intervention of the court. In a contested divorce proceeding, the court must typically hold hearings, take testimony, consider evidence and make ruling regarding how the issues will be ultimately resolved. Contested divorces can take months and, more often, years to be completed.
Is Collaborative Divorce the Same as Uncontested Divorce?
No. Though the collaborative process is typically more cooperative than the traditional divorce process, it can still be used to resolve issues in a contested divorce proceeding. With a collaborative divorce, though, the parties agree to work together (and with counsel) without the intervention of the court to find ways to resolve their differences. If they cannot do so, they must retain new legal representation.
Contact the Experienced Family Law Attorneys at Bailey & Galyen
At the law office of Bailey & Galyen, we have more than 40 years of experience providing comprehensive divorce and family law counsel to men and women throughout the state of Texas. We offer a free initial consultation to every client. To speak with a compassionate and assertive Texas divorce and family lawyer, contact us by e-mail or 844-402-2992 call our offices at one of the convenient locations listed below. We will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.