If you are considering ending your marriage, you may wonder how both contested and uncontested divorces are carried out in the state of Texas.
Contested divorces are common. Uncontested divorces are simpler and faster, but you must meet certain requirements in order to qualify.
About the contested divorce
In Texas, a contested divorce occurs when the parties cannot agree on the terms, such as property division or child custody matters. This disagreement puts a number of steps in motion beginning with filing a petition for divorce at the courthouse and one spouse serving the other one with official documents explaining the desire for divorce. During the process, the couple’s attorneys will attempt to help resolve differences through mediation. If this does not work, the parties will go to trial and the judge will decide the issues they could not agree on.
Uncontested divorce requirements
An uncontested divorce is the simpler option, but there are requirements for eligibility under the Texas Family Code:
– Both parties agree to end the marriage
– The parties do not have children younger than 18
– The parties do not own property together
– There are no retirement benefits to divide
– There is no ongoing bankruptcy case
– Neither party seeks alimony
Cooling off period
Keep in mind that the state of Texas requires a “cooling off” period of 60 days after filing the divorce petition. Presumably, this gives couples time to reflect on ending the marriage. No final order for divorce can occur until this period of time has expired.