The simplest form of divorce in Texas is known as an uncontested divorce. The word uncontested refers to the terms of the divorce regarding community property, spousal support, and custody of any children of the marriage. Sometimes referred to as an agreed divorce, an uncontested divorce is possible when the spouses are in agreement on all divorce terms.
Texas is one of nine states where property acquired during a marriage is considered community property, or jointly-owned by both spouses. This can result in legal rights to property that conflict with the assumptions of one or both partners in a marriage. If the divorcing spouses have not yet had a clear discussion about the division of property accumulated during the marriage, this would be the first step in determining whether an uncontested divorce is possible.
It is also common for spouses to consult individually with attorneys about their legal rights once they decide on getting a divorce. Occasionally, this will change their plans regarding community property or child custody if their actual legal rights differ from their prior assumptions. Without a prenuptial agreement, there is no guarantee informal agreements will be legally binding. For this reason, it is recommended to consult with an attorney to protect your bests interests even if you believe your divorce will be uncontested.
Who qualifies for uncontested divorce in Texas?
The Texas Family Code allows for either specific "grounds" or reasons for a divorce, or for a no-fault divorce. If the divorce is the result of adultery or abandonment by one spouse, for example, the other spouse can use those reasons as the grounds for a fault divorce and this will be taken into consideration in the divorce judgement.
For a divorce to qualify as uncontested, both couples must agree to the no-fault option which includes reasons such as insupportability or living apart.
Do you need a lawyer for an uncontested divorce?
Like with other legal processes such as filing income taxes, there is no requirement to consult with or hire a lawyer to obtain a divorce. The reason so many people get assistance from a professional is to save the time and stress that would be required to figure out the process themselves. In addition to the complexities of the Texas legal code, there are also variations in the procedures used in each county. Such information is not readily available online and requires significant effort to obtain. Divorce lawyers have spent their careers gathering this valuable experience.
If you believe you qualify for an uncontested divorce and want to get through the process as quickly and easily as possible, we recommend you get a free consultation from Sue Berkel, who has over 30 years of family law experience in Texas. If you choose to hire us, we are upfront about pricing and have some of the lowest rates you will find.About Sue Berkel Free consultation