Contested and Uncontested Divorce
Unfortunately, divorce has become a very common occurrence in modern society. Often spouses find that they are no longer able to coexist as a married couple and decide to separate. The act of separating is not enough to end a marriage in Texas. Texas does not recognize legal separations; the only way to legally end a marriage in Texas is to pursue a divorce. A divorce is a legal proceeding that ends a marriage. There are two types of divorce: contested divorce and uncontested divorce.
A divorce is contested when spouses are unable to agree to the terms of the divorce. In order to be granted a divorce by the court, spouses must come to a mutual agreement on several terms such as: division of assets, allocation of debt, custody, child support, and spousal support. In a contested divorce proceeding one or more of these terms has become a point of contention and the spouses are unable to come to an agreement. Contested divorces are often lengthy and expensive; they are not resolved until the parties reach a settlement agreement or go to trial.
An uncontested divorce is a divorce proceeding where both spouses agree about all the terms of the divorce. Uncontested divorce proceedings consist of filing the required paperwork with the court, waiting the designated time period required by law, and attending court to have the divorce finalized. It is a much less stressful and painful experience than a contested divorce proceeding.
You are not required to hire an attorney when getting a divorce you have the right to represent yourself, which is commonly referred to by the court as pro se. If your divorce is contested most likely you will have to hire an attorney to help you navigate the process, but if your divorce is uncontested you may decide to forego legal representation and act as a pro se litigant. I recommend that any person seeking a divorce consult with an attorney before initiating divorce proceedings to get a better understanding of the complex task ahead.