For many people, getting divorced is a highly emotional and contentious process. Not everyone is on good terms with their former partners, which can make it challenging to make mutual decisions. If you and your partner cannot agree on aspects of your legal separation, this is known as a contested divorce.
A seasoned contested divorce lawyer in The Colony could help you dissolve your marriage as peacefully as possible while protecting your rights. Having experienced legal counsel in the middle could save you and your children from a vicious legal battle. Let our experienced divorce attorneys help keep the stress of this already emotional process to a minimum. Contact our firm today to schedule your consultation.
Divorce begins when one spouse files an Original Petition for Divorce. This petition asserts the grounds for a legal separation in the state, which could either be fault-based or no-fault-based.
Grounds for a no-fault-based split include a couple being separated for at least three years or having irreconcilable differences. Alternatively, the petition could cite one of the fault-based grounds for divorce outlined in the Texas Family Code:
The spouses could decide to divorce on no-fault grounds but still have a contested divorce. If a former couple cannot agree regarding property division, child custody, and other issues, the parties have a contested divorce regardless of the grounds.
However, in some cases, a party could benefit financially by citing a fault-based reason for divorce. A spouse considering citing a fault-based split must weigh the potential for increased animosity and loss of privacy against the possibility of securing a larger share of the marital property if they prove the other spouse’s fault. A divorcing spouse in The Colony should discuss these issues with their contested divorce attorney.
Once a contested divorce in The Colony is legally underway, the spouses and their attorneys can begin the discovery process. Discovery is the legal term for exchanging documents and information each party intends to use to support their position in the divorce.
One of the most important and contentious aspects of a contested divorce is dividing marital property, often called the marital estate. Each spouse must make complete financial disclosure to the other spouse.
If one spouse suspects the other of undervaluing income or assets to impact the property settlement, spousal maintenance, or child support, their attorney might engage business valuation experts, forensic accountants, or other professionals to provide an accurate assessment of the spouse’s financial condition.
The decisions that come with divorce are deeply personal. For example, dividing a couple’s property, deciding whether one spouse should receive the other’s continuing financial support, and child custody issues are all highly emotional and difficult topics to decide on. Courts recognize that the couple knows what resolution might be most fair and workable in their specific circumstances.
Courts will often order couples in contested divorce proceedings to attempt to settle their disputes in mediation. The process is less costly, faster, and more private than taking the matter to trial and airing the couple’s differences in a public forum.
Most importantly, in mediation, the couple has control over their agreements. Although each spouse might need to compromise on some issues, in most cases, the spouses, their attorneys, and the mediator are able to craft agreements that both spouses find satisfactory. Then, the contested divorce attorneys submit the signed agreements to the court, and the judge will typically accept them and incorporate them into a divorce decree in The Colony.
If you and your spouse do not agree on several aspects of your divorce, it can make this already difficult process much harder for everyone involved. The contested divorce process allows a couple to have a judge decide how they should divide their property, whether one spouse receives alimony, where their children will live, and with whom.
For some spouses, pursuing a contested divorce to trial makes sense in their situation. For many spouses, settling on outstanding issues before trial produces a better result.
Whether you intend to litigate every issue or hope to settle your disagreements as quickly and peacefully as possible, a contested divorce lawyer in The Colony could guide you from start to finish of the process. Call our firm today to discover your legal options.
Our Law Firm’s approach to your case is based on individual circumstances. Whether it is a simple negotiated settlement, or it requires an aggressive approach, we will protect and defend your best interests.