Despite the overall national decline in average divorce rate reported by the U.S. Census Bureau, marriages continue to end.
If you are in the midst of ending your union, you have two options for divorce, an uncontested divorce or a contested divorce.
The main difference
In an uncontested divorce, both involved parties agree to all terms. In a contested one, there are one or more areas they are unable to come to an agreement about, such as property distribution, spousal support and debt allocation.
To qualify for an uncontested divorce, a couple must not have any minor children, have no shared businesses, property or retirement benefits subject to division and be at least six-month residents of Texas prior to filing. They must file based on either irreconcilable differences or insupportability. For a contested divorce, the spouses must declare solid grounds for the proceedings and provide evidence to show their authenticity. Potential legal reasons are alcohol and drug abuse, cheating, impotence and sterility, abandonment (including neglecting to provide for a spouse for at least a year), felony conviction and bigamy.
Uncontested divorces are usually less expensive. Contested ones often result in court appearances which cost fees. There are also charges for legal counsel. The fact that the process is generally longer since it often involves multiple sessions and a great deal of waiting also contributes to the higher expenditures.
While uncontested divorces tend to be shorter and involve less hassle and monetary investment, they are not always possible. With contested divorces, mediation may help ease the process.