Different Types of Divorce in Texas

In Texas, there are several different types of divorces. Below are common terms used to refer to the varying types of divorces available in the state.

Default Divorce

A default divorce is a divorce that is granted when one party does not show up for the divorce case. The court can grant a default divorce if the party who filed for the divorce shows evidence that they properly served the divorce papers on the other spouse. Only a person authorized by the law can serve legal papers, such as a constable, sheriff, or licensed process server. The divorce will then proceed without the defaulting party.

No-Fault Divorce

A spouse can file for a no-fault divorce. A no-fault divorce is when both parties agree that their marriage is not working. Here, the divorce papers state that neither party is to blame for the end of the marriage. If issues are uncontested, divorce could be resolved by agreement of the parties. Or, if there are contested issues—like a disagreement about assets should be distributed—the spouses may still go through the court process.

Fault Divorce

A spouse may wish to blame the other spouse for the divorce. This is called a fault divorce. The following are some grounds you can claim for a fault divorce:
- Adultery;
- Abandonment for one year or more;
- Cruelty, which includes any form of abuse or domestic violence;
- Conviction of a felony;
- Confinement to a mental facility; and
- Living apart for more than three years.

The filing spouse must have proof of the grounds they’re claiming. If the court finds a spouse at fault, the other spouse may receive a larger share of the marital estate.

Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce is a divorce where both spouses agree on how to resolve all the issues. The spouses must agree on terms including the basis of the divorce, how to divide the marital assets, the custody of the children, and an award of spousal or child support.

Litigated or Contested Divorce

A litigated divorce is usually called a contested divorce. The case will proceed in court if the spouses disagree on the terms of the dissolution. After both sides exchange discovery, the divorce goes to trial, so the judge can decide on any unresolved issues—like the division of assets or child custody.

Mediated Divorce

A judge may refer the parties to mediation. A mediator is a neutral third party whose sole purpose is to get the spouses to settle the case. The mediator tries to help the parties find a middle ground that results in an amicable divorce settlement and eliminates the need for litigation. If the parties don’t resolve the divorce through mediation, it will go back to court for a trial.

Collaborative Divorce

The spouses can get a divorce without going through the regular court process. This is called a collaborative divorce. Here, the parties negotiate the divorce with collaborative divorce lawyers, neutral parties, and even experts. A collaborative divorce is confidential. Texas has many rules for collaborative divorces, so it’s best to speak with an attorney for divorce about this option.

Many Types of Divorce in Texas

It’s important to understand the different types of divorces available in Texas. The law accounts for many different situations, and you can find the divorce that best suits your needs. 

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Posted - 07/11/2022