Types of Texas Divorces

There are two types of divorce in Texas: uncontested and contested. If you and your spouse disagree on issues, such as the division of property, child support or child custody, then it becomes a “contested” divorce. If you and your spouse agree on all issues, it is an “uncontested” divorce.

You qualify for an “uncontested” divorce in Texas if:

  1. You have the information needed to make decisions about how ALL your marital property and debts should be divided
  2. You and your spouse have worked out living arrangements, temporary use of property, possession and access to children while your divorce is pending
  3. You do not have any fear about anything your spouse might do while the divorce is pending

We offer uncontested divorce flat fee packages for the following:

  • Uncontested divorce with no children and no property
  • Uncontested divorce with children and no property
  • Uncontested divorce with children and property

Contested Divorce:

Unfortunately divorces are not always amicable for multiple reasons. When the parties cannot agree to the terms of the divorce, it is “contested.” While it is impossible to say exactly what might be involved in a contested divorce, the following can often be expected.

  • A counter petition filed by the opposing party
  • Initial disclosures
  • A temporary orders hearing
  • Discovery
  • Mediation (many courts require this prior to a final hearing)
  • Final trial (hearing)

Texas has a waiting period of 60 days after the Original Petition is filed before the decree can be signed by a judge. In a contested divorce, it is highly unlikely that your divorce will be finalized by that 61st day. Depending on how contentious the process is, a contested divorce that requires discovery, mediation and a final hearing can take many months, if not, over a year to finalize.

A final trial, while sometimes necessary, can be the least efficient way to resolve your divorce. They are expensive and require a lot of preparation by you and your attorney. Both sides will have to present their evidence to the court and the judge will make the final decision on what happens with the unresolved issues. Most people do not want a court making such important decisions regarding their property or children, so to avoid that, it is important to attempt to resolve the case via other ways. I.e., mediation. By law, an opposing party is required to be given 45 days notice prior to a final hearing, so often hearings are scheduled a couple of months in advance so there is ample time to prepare.

Asset Division

Texas is a community property state. This means that all property acquired during the marriage (with some exceptions) is considered community property and must be divided in a “fair and just” manner upon divorce. This does not mean that each spouse will automatically receive 50% of the marital estate. There are many factors that need to be taken into consideration when dividing assets and property. We can assist with determining what is community property and what is separate property and ensuring that our client receives their fair share of the marital estate.

Spousal Maintenance

Texas does not provide for the traditional “alimony.” Instead, depending on the length of your marriage, you may be entitled to spousal maintenance. Spousal maintenance is considered a temporary measure for the spouse who is unable to provide for themselves after a divorce. Whether you are on the receiving end or the paying end, our priority is to make sure that a fair amount of support is requested.

Speak with an Austin Family and Divorce Lawyer

We talk with our clients about their goals and various options in family and divorce cases. Our first goal is to collaborate and resolve things without courtroom battles, if possible, where amicable resolution is best for you or your children. Based in Austin, our family law attorneys practice primarily in Travis County, Texas. For more information, contact Deitchle + Simone.