While there are many, many Texas divorces every year, the vast majority do not go to court. Even those divorces that involve very complicated financial assets and tricky child custody arrangements often manage to be resolved outside of court. There are, however, instances when divorces are far more likely to be decided in court, and sometimes, you are better off heading in this direction in the first place. Having a better feel for whether or not your case will go to court can help you make the right decisions for you, and one of the best decisions you can make is consulting with an experienced Gatesville divorce attorney early in the process.
Common Issues in Divorce
When it comes to divorce, the most basic points include that you and your divorcing spouse will need to resolve all of the following terms that apply to your situation:
Child custody arrangements (called conservatorship in Texas)
The division of marital property
Alimony (called spousal maintenance in Texas)
In your efforts to manage this, you have options that include:
Negotiating between yourselves
Allowing your respective divorce attorneys to negotiate on behalf of each of you
Proceeding to mediation (a form of alternative dispute resolution, or ADR)
If your efforts are not successful in relation to each term that needs to be resolved after you have exhausted these options, you will need the court to intervene on your behalf.
Your Parental Rights
A primary reason that divorces go to court is over child custody concerns. For example, if your divorcing spouse wants considerable time with the children (or is even angling to be the primary custodial parent) and you have grave concerns regarding his or her ability to take on this immense responsibility, going to court in defense of the best interests of your children and your parental rights may be advised.
Your Financial Rights
The division of your marital property will directly affect your financial rights post-divorce, but even if your finances are highly complicated, you should be able to hammer out a fair division as long as your divorcing spouse is on the up-and-up. If your soon-to-be-ex is trying to hide assets, get rid of assets, undervalue assets, or otherwise obfuscate the financial landscape, your best option is very likely to proceed to court.
Refusal to Negotiate
Divorce is emotionally charged, and some people handle the stress better than others do. If your spouse is shutting down in the face of this monumental transition – or is unreasonable, to begin with – the best path forward may be to head directly to court (rather than to waste time and resources attempting to hammer out a settlement that is simply not in the cards).