Marital discord and disagreement form the basis of separation and divorce. Divorce can be an emotionally disturbing and tumultuous experience, it can be an extremely difficult period. While the process can be mutually settled by an uncontested divorce, contested divorce proceedings can lead to conflict and confusion.
Difference Between Contested and Uncontested Divorce
No divorce can be truly termed as uncontested, taking into account the disagreements and disputes involved in it. But, in most cases, these can be resolved in an out-of-court settlement. It can be wrapped up quickly and is comparatively less expensive. Such divorce cases are termed as an uncontested divorce.
Couples seeking a divorce are recommended to sort out issues through mutual negotiations. But, if the spouses are unable to resolve differences amicably, divorce lawyers can help them during this process. To reduce hostility and ensure fair terms, a contested divorce process is initiated. The financial stakes are quite high for these cases and complex issues need to be tackled during a contested divorce.
Grounds for Contested Divorce
When couples are unable to settle disputes and need to consult lawyers for litigation, discovery, distribution of property and finances, the grounds for a contested divorce is laid. Generally, four main issues are considered during the process:
- Adequate division of marital property
- Custody of children
- Debt division
- Spousal support or payments for children
Although most divorcing couples are unable to come to a total agreement on the terms of the divorce, it is advised to avoid lengthy legal battles. In fact, it may be a fair idea to avoid an uncontested divorce. It not only expedites the process but also helps to save tons of money spent on court and lawyer fees. Besides, the process becomes less stressful and allows both parties to settle down faster after the divorce.
Steps Involved in a Contested Divorce Process
For the dissolution of marriage, an original divorce petition must be filed at a place where the couple has resided for the last 90 days. Seek the help of a lawyer at this stage to make the process smoother and simpler. He or she can advise you about the next steps in the proceeding and will also help to inform the other party about hearing or trial dates.
While the divorce is pending, a temporary restraining order may be issued. This is common for divorce cases filed in Texas. The main aim of the order is to enable both parties to do the right things. It can include orders related to children as well as property and financial transactions. It basically prevents the spouses from making any major changes that are not mutually agreed upon.
Within two to four weeks of the divorce filing, a temporary order hearing is requested. The judge will address factors such as child support, debt payment, use of property, etc. and place orders that remain valid until the divorce is finalized.
If a spouse is cheating or has undisclosed property, lawyers can also help in discovery. Accordingly, divorce proceedings are carried out. However, if you do not want extensive legal hassles, it is always recommended to opt for out of court negotiations.