Many Texas spouses have recently decided that their marital problems are unresolvable. They must now determine the best course of action to move on in life without their former partners and start afresh. One decision to make is whether to file an uncontested divorce. If you’re a spouse, and especially if you’re a parent, you’ll want to determine the most economically feasible option that would cause the least disruption and enable you to minimize stress as you and your kids navigate life changes and move forward together.
The key issue here is that no two divorces are the same, nor are the needs of any two families. It’s good that there are several options available to you and that you are free to choose which one best fits your circumstances. As for filing an uncontested divorce, there may be several benefits to it in some cases but also reasons why it might not be the best option in certain situations.
Are you and your spouse in complete agreement on all divorce issues?
It’s not common for a pair of spouses to agree 100% on issues in a divorce. If you and your spouse happen to be one of the rare cases where you do not disagree about anything, such as how to split debt and marital assets, child custody, child support, spousal support, etc., then you might consider filing an uncontested divorce.
Some people think it’s easiest to do so without even seeking legal counsel. However, such counsel is still helpful, especially regarding property division laws and understanding all the nuances of child custody, such as the difference between physical custody and legal custody.
An uncontested divorce by default
If you are filing for a divorce and your spouse does not respond to the papers he or she has been served, this will activate an uncontested divorce by default. You might be on the flip side of this situation, as well, meaning that your spouse has filed a petition and you’re choosing not to respond. Either way, a legal process occurs, and you achieve a divorce settlement. The spouse who did not respond will not have a say over any settlement issue.
Reasons that a contested divorce might be a better option
If any of the issues included in the following list are relevant to your divorce, the uncontested option might not align with your needs:
- You’ve been out of the workforce and at home full-time for many years.
- You both work but there is a great disparity between income levels or potential earning capacity.
- Regarding child custody issues, you strongly disagree and are unable to resolve your differences.
Such issues create complexity in a divorce. It is wise to choose an option that helps ensure you will walk away with all you’re entitled to and that the best interests of your children will be a central focus of all proceedings.