Contested Divorce

A contested divorce occurs when both spouses cannot reach an agreement on one or more marital issues. These issues can include topics such as child custody, child support and property division. Texas is a community property state. In other words, a marriage formed by two people in the end makes one legal “community.” Therefore, the property that the couple acquires during the partnership is considered “community property.”

When a couple becomes legally separated, the court makes decisions about how to divide the property that the spouses bought during or before the marriage. Property that was obtained before the marriage is referred to as “separate property.” Discussing issues such as separate property and community property is very complex. This is where the help of an attorney can benefit both parties.

Navigating a divorce can be stressful. It is a process that requires patience, especially when there are several unsettled issues. The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. in Brownsville represent individuals in all sorts of divorce cases in Texas, including contested divorces. Contact us to receive quality legal representation for an upcoming divorce.

Brownsville Contested Divorce Attorneys in Texas

If you and your spouse are pursuing an uncontested divorce in Texas, reach out to The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. . Our family law attorneys will do everything in their power to help you navigate this complicated time. Working with our contested divorce attorneys in Brownsville also means you can count on us to fight for you throughout the process.

We’re prepared to stand firm for your interests throughout your contested divorce. If you find yourself in Brownsville, Texas or any surrounding city including Houston, Harlingen, and San Benito, call us today at 956-504-2211. Our contested divorce attorneys also serve Cameron County, Hidalgo County and Willacy County.

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Information Center

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How Long Does a Contested Divorce Take in Texas?

A contested divorce doesn’t have any deadlines or time requirements. Truthfully, the answer is, it depends. Under Texas law, an uncontested divorce is not final for at least 60 days after the petition has been filed. A contested divorce, where both parties cannot agree on multiple marital-related issues, take much longer to resolve than an uncontested divorce.

Both spouses must agree upon how they will divide their property, as well as time with their children. Additionally, both parties must obtain certain types of evidence to support their arguments, which may take a long period of time. Settlement negotiations on the issues can take months, if not in some cases years. If the parties don’t agree on a settlement, they must go to trial.

Contested Divorce Issues

A contested divorce is the most complicated type of divorce because it involves spouses who can’t agree on certain divorce-related issues in their case. During a contested divorce, many issues can arise during the process. These issues include fair division of assets, child custody, and emotional problems amongst many others.

  • Fair division of assets: A contested divorce carries a lot of disagreements including what’s considered a fair division of assets. In a divorce, there may be questions about whether an inheritance or a certain property has become a marital asset. Our contested divorce attorneys help both parties understand details regarding separate versus community property. If a person lives in a community property state such as Texas, most property acquired during marriage, except for gifts or inheritances, is considered community property. This type of property is owned jointly by both partners. Separate property is considered property one spouse owned before the marriage.
  • Child Custody: In a divorce, child custody and visitation issues is one of the most difficult issues for parents and children to cope with. Especially if one parent is seeking sole legal custody of the children. The court may grant one party the ultimate responsibility for specific aspects of a child’s welfare such as primary residence, education, or medical and dental care.
  • Emotional Issues: Sometimes the biggest hurdle to an uncontested divorce is emotional. In several cases, one party becomes so contentious about an issue they then become unwilling to compromise. It can be difficult to navigate the process of divorce when there are a lot of emotional issues at hand.

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No Fault Divorce in Texas

Under the Texas Penal Code, a divorce may be granted on the grounds of one or more “faults”. Most divorces occur on the no-fault ground of insupportability.  This is where the court grants a divorce without regard to fault if the marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities. This specific ground does not hold any expectation of reconciliation. “Fault” grounds for divorce include:

  • Adultery: The court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if the other spouse has committed adultery.
  • Cruel treatment: The court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if the other spouse is guilty of cruel treatment toward the complaining spouse of a nature that renders further living together insupportable.
  • Conviction of a felony: The court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if during the marriage the other spouse has been convicted of a felony or has not been pardoned. This also includes they have been imprisoned for at least one year in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, a federal penitentiary, or the penitentiary of another state.
  • Abandonment: The court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if the other spouse left the complaining spouse with the intention of abandonment; and remained away for at least one year.
  • Living apart: The court may grant a divorce in favor of either spouse if the spouses have lived apart without cohabitation for at least three years.
  • Confinement in a mental hospital: The court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if at the time the suit is filed the other spouse has been confined in a state mental hospital or private mental hospital, as defined in Section 571.003, Health and Safety Code, in this state or another state for at least three years.

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Additional Resources

Texas Penal Code Chapter 6 – Visit chapter 6 of the Texas Penal Code to read about the no-fault ground for divorce which is insupportability. Additionally, learn more about certain “fault” grounds for divorce which include adultery, cruelty, conviction of felony, abandonment, living apart, and confinement in a mental hospital.

Association of Family and Conciliation Courts – Visit the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) website to view valuable resources on divorce. AFCC is the premier interdisciplinary and international association of professionals dedicated to the resolution of family conflict. On the webpage, you’ll find FAQS parents ask about divorce, a guide for joint custody and more.

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Brownsville Contested Divorce Lawyer in TX

Contested divorces can take many months to resolve, and even years in some cases. It is not advised for a couple to proceed a divorce on their own. Our Texas family law attorneys in Brownsville are extremely knowledgeable on contested divorces. We carry years of experience in representing parties on both sides of the table.

If you and your spouse find yourself pursuing a contested divorce, call us today at 956-504-2211 to schedule a free consultation. Wether you live in Brownsville, Texas or any surrounding city such as Houston, Harlingen, or San Benito, The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. will be more than happy to serve you. Our team also represents clients in Cameron County, Hidalgo County, and Willacy County.

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