An uncontested divorce is a good choice for couples who have come to the difficult decision that a divorce is in order and who are able to compromise on the important issues. An uncontested divorce is generally less expensive and less time consuming, but it is important to recognize that every divorce is unique to its own set of circumstances and that more complicated divorces often require more in-depth legal services. If you think an uncontested divorce might be a good fit for you, the answers to several frequently asked questions may help you feel more confident in your decision.
What Is the Difference Between an Uncontested Divorce and a Contested Divorce?
The terms uncontested divorce and contested divorce are merely terms of convenience. The Texas Family Code makes no such distinction. In an uncontested divorce, the couple makes the important divorce-related decisions together, and in a contested divorce, the couple is not able to reach mutually agreeable terms and needs assistance via either mediation or a trial. The goal of any reputable divorce attorney experienced in uncontested divorces is to help the divorcing couple turn solid agreements into a solid divorce decree while maneuvering through the family court system as efficiently as possible.
Where Does an Uncontested Divorce Cut Corners in Terms of Time and Expense
If you and your divorcing spouse are both committed to making important compromises, an uncontested divorce can save time and expense in several ways:
If you both feel confident in the other’s commitment to keeping your divorce amicable, you can share a divorce attorney who is experienced in uncontested divorces, which dramatically reduces legal costs. Even if you both hire legal representation, however, your legal costs should remain manageable.
While you will have to wait the required 60 days to obtain a divorce in Texas, your attorney will draft your decree outlining your agreements within this timeframe, and the entire process should not exceed these 60 days by more than a few days. A contested divorce is typically just getting started after 60 days and generally takes much, much longer.
Your uncontested divorce will be finalized when you, your divorcing spouse, and your divorce attorney(s) appear before the court for a brief hearing in which your decree is signed and finalized by the judge.
Do We Really Need an Attorney for an Uncontested Divorce?
You are not required to have an attorney to obtain a divorce in Texas, but you are well-advised to do so. Your divorce decree affects important matters related to child custody and to the division of marital property. An experienced divorce attorney understands the implications of this important document and will work closely with you to help ensure that your negotiations survive in the form of an enforceable divorce decree that protects you and your children’s rights into the future.