San Antonio Uncontested & Contested Divorce Attorney
Helping Texas Couples Make It Through All Types of Divorce
Divorce is rarely an easy process. However, some couples do have an easier time splitting up than others. For this reason, the state of Texas allows married couples who have decided to call it quits to file for either a contested or uncontested divorce.
If you need help determining which route is right for you or would like an experienced and effective attorney on your side throughout the divorce process, The Knowlton Law Firm can help. Our San Antonio uncontested and contested divorce lawyer understands the legal processes required for both and can help you navigate the process with confidence and ease. Whether you and your spouse are both in agreement regarding the terms of your divorce or you are dealing with a combative or absent partner, our firm possesses the knowledge and tools necessary to resolve your case.
What Is the Difference Between Uncontested & Contested Divorce?
There are three major differences:
- Whether you and your spouse agree concerning the terms of the divorce,
- How much time the divorce will take to finalize, and
- Whether you can appeal the court’s decision.
Because both partners agree in an uncontested divorce, the process is far more streamlined. You will still have to file paperwork and go to court, but significantly less so than couples who go through the contested divorce process.
If you are unhappy with the court’s decision regarding your contested divorce, you can file an appeal. Uncontested divorces typically do not allow appeals; however, you can modify certain conditions of your divorce should you or your former spouse later go through a significant life change and realize part of the agreement no longer works for you.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at the requirements and specifics of each below.
When you and your partner have decided to split up and the decision is mutual, you may qualify for an uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce is a far less contentious and costly alternative to traditional divorce court.
Uncontested divorce is the way to go if you and your spouse essentially agree on all issues. Unfortunately, couples who wish to file for an uncontested divorce must meet certain criteria.
- Both partners agree to end the marriage,
- Both partners agree on the reason or “grounds” for the divorce,
- You and your spouse agree on how to divide your property,
- You and your spouse agree on child custody and support, and
- Neither spouse has an open bankruptcy case.
If you and your spouse qualify and are both willing to proceed with an amicable divorce, the uncontested and agreed separation processes are far simpler than traditional divorce. You and your partner will be required sign the Agreed Decree of Divorce and one of you will attend a hearing before the judge, at which time your divorce is finalized. That’s it!
Actually, there is a little more to it than that. You and your spouse will still have to work out who gets what when it comes to the assets you do share, which can be a time-consuming and meticulous process. For this reason, you may still choose to consult or work with a local lawyer who can help you ensure everything is divided fairly, done correctly, and you are not tricking yourself (or being tricked) into taking less than you need or deserve.
If you and your spouse cannot come to a mutual agreement on major issues such as property division, spousal support, child custody, or even whether you should get a divorce in the first place, the process is sadly not as straightforward.
To file for a contested divorce, you are required to name the grounds for the divorce as well as show proof supporting those grounds. (In an uncontested divorce, couples usually separate on the catch-all grounds of “irreconcilable differences.”)
In Texas, grounds of divorce include:
- Conviction of felony
- Living apart
- Confined in mental hospital
In some cases, one spouse does not wish to get divorced at all and will be against the process entirely. Fortunately, Texas does not require that couples stay married when one member wants to end the union. However, hurdles such as this are what often make the contested divorce process take significantly longer than an uncontested divorce.
How Our Law Firm Can Help
We understand that divorce is never an easy process, regardless of which route you take. Fortunately, you do not need to shoulder this burden alone. We will be by your side throughout the duration of your divorce to provide the representation, counsel, and support you need. By working with our firm to finalize your divorce, you will be able to choose the path that works best for you with an innovative and effective lawyer with your best interests in mind at your side. Our legal team will review your case from all sides to ensure you are receiving comprehensive and beneficial results.
“Brian took an extremely difficult situation, carefully handled the details, and guided us to a perfect solution.”- Mike
“I only dealt with him and no one else which was a change from previous lawyers I've dealt with. Highly recommend!”- Laura
“It is SO difficult to find a responsive, brilliant, creative, hardworking attorney, but alas if you are looking to Mr. Knowlton, you have found one.”- Jessica