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Contested vs Uncontested divorce: What’s the difference?

On Behalf of | Jun 2, 2023 | Divorce |

When a couple is getting divorced in Texas, there are two different types that are available: contested and uncontested.

There are distinct differences between the two and it will be for the petitioning party, or both parties in some cases, to decide on which route they take. There will be a number of things to take into consideration but it largely comes down to what both parties can agree on. 

What is an uncontested divorce? 

As the name suggests, parties can opt for an uncontested divorce where neither one “contests” it. This means that both of you have agreed on all the terms of your divorce, including deciding on spousal support, debt allocation and property division.

Furthermore, to qualify for an uncontested divorce you both must have lived in Texas for at least six months before filing and you must not: 

  • Have any minor children together 
  • Own a business or property together 
  • Have any retirement benefits that need dividing. 

An uncontested divorce is usually quicker, cheaper and more straightforward to do as there is nothing for the court to decide on. 

A contested divorce, on the other hand, is where separating spouses cannot agree on at least one aspect of the divorce and need a judge to intervene. 

You will need to show, and provide evidence of, the grounds on which you are petitioning for divorce and cannot simply rely on the ground of irreconcilable differences as with an uncontested divorce. The grounds available include adultery, bigamy, felony conviction or drug and alcohol use. 

Going through a divorce is a life-changing process. Having people around you to provide you with support and to look after your best interests is crucial to making sure things go as smoothly as possible. You should also seek legal guidance when going through divorce.