Divorce has become an increasingly more common occurrence between both couples and families. Researchers estimate about 42% to 45% percent of first marriages end in divorce. These percentages also tend to increase in second and third marriages, reaching about 73%. Divorce is a large part of family law and has many complex laws intertwined within.

Uncontested Versus Contested Divorce

Divorce can be initiated by either spouse and can be challenged or unchallenged. In the event that both spouses want the divorce, they may pursue an uncontested divorce which allows them to go through the court process in an easier manner. This is because both parties came to an agreement, rather than having unresolved issues that need to be figured out. Uncontested divorce is typically the most common kind and is often obtained without legal counsel. Couples may not always reach an agreement, though, and are unable to solve the issues between them. This kind of divorce process tends to take much longer and requires legal counsel from a skilled divorce lawyer, such as a divorce lawyer in Arlington, TX, to reach a conclusion that both parties are satisfied with. 

Filing for Divorce

The petition for divorce will be filed with the district court where the party lives. The other spouse then receives a notice and must file an answer within 21 days otherwise the case becomes default and can be finished without the other spouse. If there is a written agreement from both spouses and attorneys the process proceeds as a collaborative divorce. Collaborative law is where both parties agree to dissolve the marriage in the best of their efforts. Legal counsel will be involved in the process but only to to approve the settlement and sign the orders required by law. 

Each state has its own divorce laws that dictate how divorce is interpreted in their state. To file for divorce in Texas, for example, at least one spouse must have been a resident of the state for the past 6 months. There are seven main grounds for divorce and most areas need one spouse to file a fault on the other spouse. Some of these include: cruelty from one spouse to the other, adultery, commitment of a felony, abandonment, or if the marriage has become sour due to conflict and there is no expectation of reconciliation. 

In conclusion, divorce has generally become more common in the last couple decades and takes place because of a multitude of reasons, but will always be a large part of family law. 

Thanks to Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC for their insight into contested versus uncontested divorce.