Every divorce is different, and the things that are important in your divorce to you are unique to your situation. There are, however, three basic categories of divorce that include contested divorce, uncontested divorce, and collaborative divorce. If your divorce is uncontested, it is likely to proceed far more smoothly than a contested divorce, but it is important to recognize that, because divorce is so complicated and so stressful, what begins as an uncontested divorce can quickly head in a more contentious direction. Understanding how these categories of divorce differ from one another can help you determine what path is right for you.
The basic elements of every Texas divorce include making determinations regarding all of the following (that apply to your situation):
- The division of your marital property
- Child custody arrangements
- Child support
- Spousal support (or alimony)
If you and your divorcing spouse can hammer out terms for each of these categories that you are both willing to sign off on, your divorce is an uncontested divorce, which is always the most efficient and least expensive direction to take. If you are unable to come to an agreement on every major point, however, you will need to continue moving forward with your respective attorneys’ guidance and negotiation skills. If you simply cannot come to agreeable terms for one or more components of your divorce, the court will make the necessary determinations on your behalf.
A Collaborative divorce refers to a one in which both parties agree to try their best to settle their difference out of court. Importantly, the parties commit to doing so by having their attorneys sign an agreement that requires them to withdraw from the case in the event that they are unable to reach a settlement. This strongly incentivizes both parties to settle out of court, as they would have to start over with new attorneys in the event that they are unable to work out their differences.
A contested divorce means that the court will have to step in to make one or more of the important determinations that need to be made before your divorce can be finalized. If, for example, you simply cannot come to an agreement regarding the just and right division of your marital property, but you have managed to find middle ground regarding every other issue, the court will only need to address the contested issue of property division. In other words, even if your divorce is contested, the more common ground you can find with your soon-to-be ex, the more control you will retain over its outcome.
Discuss Your Divorce with an Experienced Attorney Today
If you are facing divorce, Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, is a formidable divorce attorney with an impressive record of helping clients like you obtain favorable divorce terms. We are here to help, so please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information today.