Divorce can be scary and frustrating. It can be a battle that no one wants to go through. However, if you and your spouse are ending things amicably, an “uncontested divorce” may be an option to keep things as simple and pain-free as possible.
In order for a divorce to be considered “uncontested”, the following conditions must be agreed upon BEFOREHAND:
Agreeing to be Divorced
Maybe it seems obvious, but if one party wants to be divorced and the other doesn’t, it technically isn’t “uncontested” in the first place. Both parties have to agree to the divorce and work together to make decisions on children, property, etc.
Parental Decision Making
Both parties have to agree on responsibility for the decisions made for their childrens’ well-being. This includes medical, educational, and psychological decisions. Whether it’s who your child’s doctor is or what school they go to, these decisions have to be agreed upon by both parents. Also, who will establish the primary residence? Will there be a geographical restriction on the children? What about child support and health insurance?
According to the Texas Attorney General, the presumption in Texas is the Standard Possession Order (Find more details here: https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/sites/default/files/files/child-support/Publications/qa-ncp-handbook.pdf). But in an “uncontested” divorce, visitation decisions will be made and set by the parents, not the judge. Some choose to follow the Standard Possession Order while others chose alternate arrangements.
Property and Debts
In Texas, property means anything owned by the married couple, not just land or a home. Property can include:
- Retirement Accounts
- Bank Accounts
- Animals, etc.
The Texas Community Property Rule means that everything owned by you or your spouse at the time of divorce is considered “community” unless one of the spouses can prove that certain property is their separate property. In order to be “uncontested”, both parties have to agree on how ALL property should be divided. If one piece of property is undecided and can’t be agreed upon, that becomes a contested piece issue. It is also very important that this property is included in the final divorce decree. If it’s not, it can be complicated and expensive to fix after the divorce.
Do we need an attorney?
While completing an uncontested divorce is possible without a divorce attorney, it isn’t advised. An attorney makes sure no steps have been skipped, and no paperwork has been missed. It’s easy to make a mistake or miss something in the process, and having an attorney ensures that your uncontested divorce is in safe hands.
If you are facing divorce, Abbott Law Office can help guide you through the process. Uncontested divorce starts at $399 plus court costs. Call us at (806)350-HOPE(4673). We can help. There is hope.