6034 West Courtyard Drive, Suite 100, Austin, TX 78730

Facebook Twitter

Call Us Today


Navigating a Contested Divorce in Texas - What You Should Know

 Posted on June 20, 2023 in Contested Divorce

Austin divorce litigation attorneyIn Texas, the divorce process begins when one spouse files a petition for dissolution of marriage with the court. The other spouse will be notified that the divorce has been initiated, usually by having a process server provide them with a copy of the petition. At this point, the non-filing spouse has the option to file an answer to the petition. In many cases, a couple will work to negotiate a settlement and complete an uncontested divorce. However, if a case involves high levels of conflict, or if a couple cannot reach agreements on certain issues, they may need to resolve matters in court. In these situations, couples will need to understand what steps how a contested divorce will be handled.

Steps Followed in a Contested Divorce

A contested divorce will usually involve the following phases:

  • Temporary orders - During the divorce process, the court has the authority to issue temporary orders to address important matters that need immediate attention. These orders can cover issues such as child custody, child support, alimony, and other relevant matters. Temporary orders issued by a judge may remain in place until the divorce has been finalized, although they may be superseded by subsequent orders as needed.

  • Discovery phase - After initiating the divorce process, a couple will proceed with discovery, during which they exchange financial information and relevant documentation with each other. This allows both parties to gather the necessary information to support their respective positions.

  • Mediation attempt - The court will typically order the couple to use mediation to negotiate agreements and reach a settlement on any outstanding issues in their case. Mediation involves a neutral third party who helps facilitate communication and negotiation between the spouses. The purpose of mediation will be to work together to reach agreements that are acceptable to both parties.

  • Trial - The divorce will proceed to trial if mediation fails to resolve all outstanding disputes. At trial, a judge will consider evidence and arguments presented by both parties. Based on this assessment, the judge will issue a ruling that will provide final decisions on all divorce-related issues, including property division, child custody, and alimony.

Contested Divorce in Texas – Cost and Duration

The timeline for a contested divorce in Texas is influenced by two key factors: the complexity of the case, and the level of disagreement between the spouses. These factors can significantly impact the duration of the divorce process. Cases involving complex issues or high levels of conflict may take multiple years to resolve.

The cost of a contested divorce in Texas can vary significantly. Several factors can contribute to the total expenses, including the complexity of the case, the involvement of outside experts in addition to attorneys representing each party, and whether the case proceeds to trial. Costs can be significantly lower if the spouses are able to reach a settlement through mediation or other alternative dispute resolution methods. These approaches often provide a more cost-effective and efficient way to resolve the issues involved in a divorce.

Tips to Prepare for a Contested Divorce

If you anticipate that your spouse will not cooperate during your divorce, it is advisable to begin preparing as early as possible. Gathering a complete picture of your family’s finances is essential, and attempting to hide assets is never a recommended course of action. This can help you work towards achieving independence post-divorce, and it can also ensure that you have a full understanding of the issues that will need to be resolved during your case.

In most cases involving children, joint managing conservatorship is granted to both parents, unless circumstances exist that would make it detrimental to the child's best interest to spend time with both parents. You can prepare for disputes related to child custody issues by documenting the level of involvement you have had in your children’s lives and taking steps to demonstrate that you will be able to provide for their needs after your divorce has been finalized.

Contact a Travis County Contested Divorce Attorney

When you are facing a contested divorce, it is crucial to have the support and guidance of an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the complexities of the law. At Powers Kerr & Rashidi, PLLC, we can provide reliable legal advice tailored to your unique situation, and we can help you take steps to protect your rights and interests as you work to resolve divorce-related disputes. Our Austin contested divorce lawyers have a deep understanding of Texas law, and we are well-equipped to handle a wide range of legal matters. Reach out to us and schedule a consultation by calling 512-610-6199.



Share this post:
Back to Top