Contested divorces can become complex, emotional situations for all involved.

It is bad enough when a couple realizes that they can no longer maintain their relationship and hiring divorce lawyers becomes necessary, but when they are also unable to agree on the specific terms of their divorce, the situation can worsen.

When a contested Texas divorce seems likely, spouses should enlist the aid of an experienced divorce attorney who can help them understand what to do and how they can ultimately come to terms with their spouse to legally end their marriage.

What Is A Contested Divorce?

A contested divorce in Texas is one in which the filing spouse and the served spouse cannot agree to the terms of the divorce for any of a multitude of reasons, preventing the finalization of their divorce.

To facilitate the process, the spouses must each hire divorce lawyers experienced with contested situations, as resolving these cases will require expert negotiation and commonly end up going before a judge in a legal hearing.

This is most common when spouses file based on grounds such as infidelity, abuse of some type, financial mismanagement, or other grounds that can destroy a marriage and make agreeing in the divorce phase more difficult.

How Are Contested Divorces Handled In Texas?

Though the basic process of getting a divorce in Texas is always the same, divorce attorneys and their clients must go through additional steps to accomplish the process when the process is contested.

For this reason, contested divorces usually take longer than uncontested ones and can be considerably more expensive as well.

The different steps required in contested divorces include:

  • Filing and Serving Papers - To begin the process, one spouse must fill out the legal paperwork, including specifics such as their grounds and divorce terms, and then file them with the court. The court will serve the other spouse who, if they disagree with the terms or simply do not wish to get divorced, can contest.
  • Temporary Orders - Depending on the circumstance surrounding the case and the degree of animosity that may be present between spouses, divorce lawyers may recommend filing for temporary orders or the judge may even order them. Temporary orders from the court give a temporary directive on things like living situations, child custody as well as care, and the preservation of important evidence when a divorce will likely progress to the courts for a hearing.
  • Mediation or Collaboration - Ideally, even when a divorce is contested, attorneys and clients might still attempt to work out the disagreements using mediation. Another option for doing so as long as the two spouses are willing to work together to work out agreements is using a collaborative divorce process. When those options fail or are not suitable, the case will progress toward a court hearing.
  • Evidence Gathering - As with any legal case that progresses to a court hearing, clients and their divorce attorneys must gather evidence to support their grounds and terms and state them to the judge.
  • Going to Trial - Once all evidence has been gathered and attorneys and their clients are prepared to argue their cases, the divorce will be heard in the family court where a judge can hear both sides and resolve disputes by delivering suitable decisions to make the divorce possible.
  • Expert Witnesses - When necessary, expert witnesses such as financial experts, mental health experts, and others may be called in to support a spouse’s argument in cases of a contested divorce.
  • Finalization - After hearing all testimony from both spouses and their lawyers in the family court, judges will issue their judgments and then finalize the divorce by signing a divorce decree documenting the court orders.
  • Appeals and Modifications - Once the divorce has been finalized, dissatisfied spouses can work with their lawyers to either appeal those decisions or seek modifications of the divorce order.

Seek Experienced Legal Assistance For A Contested Divorce in Texas

While no Texas divorce is pleasant, contested divorces can be especially emotional and challenging.

The best way to deal with one is by finding an experienced contested divorce lawyer who understands the process well and can expertly prepare clients for their family court hearing.

Receiving the fairest consideration in divorce court depends on good preparation and clearly demonstrating the required evidence.

Hire a divorce attorney who is experienced in these types of divorces and can skillfully represent their clients in court.

Schreier & Housewirth Family Law

1800 West Bowie Street, Suite 200-E
Fort Worth TX 76110

[[tracking- number]]


Gregory L. Housewirth is a Board-Certified Family Law Specialist practicing in Fort Worth Texas. With 30 years of family law experience, Mr. Housewirth has represented hundreds of clients in divorce, custody, CPS, modification, and grandparent cases. In addition, Mr. Housewirth is a qualified family law mediator and a member of Collaborative Law Texas, a practice group dedicated to promoting collaborative divorce in Texas.


Check Out Who is Posting This Article!