An uncontested divorce is a divorce where the couple has resolved all major issues including child custody, visitation, parenting time and property division. This means much more than husband and wife agreeing to split everything equally and handle custody and visitation on their own. There are several issues that should be addressed, and the parties should be advised of their legal rights under Texas law and the Family Code before making any agreements.
Texas, like many states, is a no-fault divorce state, where all a husband or wife needs to allege is insupportability, stated in the Texas Family Code as follows: On the petition of either party to a marriage, the court may grant a divorce without regard to fault if the marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marital relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation or reconciliation.
If one party alleges the marriage should be dissolved, they allege the grounds for dissolution, such as insupportability, in their petition. If that party wants to be divorced, the court will make a finding that the marriage is dissolved. Whether the other party agrees and wants the divorce is not a question of whether the divorce is an uncontested divorce because uncontested refers to all the legal rights and issues involved in dissolving a marriage where children, income, assets, and property are involved.
Child custody and visitation are significant issues in divorce. What may sound good in theory, is more difficult to implement in real life. For example, some parents want to share equal parenting time with their sons and daughters and suggest they will work together without a fixed schedule. Everything may run smoothly, but anything can change. Having a well thought out parenting plan helps answer all the “what if” questions. Child support, medical expenses, and insurance are issues which must be addressed and resolved before you can proceed with an uncontested divorce.
Financial and property issues in a divorce can be the source of conflict. Couples who approach divorce and agree to split everything down the middle may change their mind. There are so many issues involving money and property that people don’t think about until they drill down into the details. It is important to learn your legal rights and duties regarding money and property. Discovery is the process in a divorce, where the parties exchange documents and information about finances, assets, and liabilities. So even if the parties still agree to split everything 50/50, they should be aware of their legal rights and options before proceeding in an uncontested divorce.
Please contact a divorce lawyer in Arlington, TX for a free consultation to determine whether a truly uncontested divorce is the best plan for you.
Thanks to Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC for their insight into family law and uncontested divorce.