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Contested Divorce

Reputable Attorneys Manage Your Contested Divorce in Texas

Trustworthy representation for complex and contentious marital dissolution

A contested divorce is one in which the spouses cannot reach agreement on one or more key issues and require court intervention to resolve them. When your divorce case must go to court, you want proven litigation attorneys representing your interests. At Hayes, Berry, White & Vanzant, LLP, we’ve built a solid reputation for proficient legal counsel in all aspects of family law, including divorce. Clients have relied on us for decades to protect their rights and obtain the results they need to begin the next stage of their life.

What is meant by contested divorce in Texas

A couple can agree to seek a divorce and still wind up with a contested case. This is because Texas divorce law requires the spouses to reach agreement on all key issues of their divorce — alimony, child custody, child support, and division of property — in order to avoid a trial on any of those issues. If you attempt to reach a marital settlement, but fall short of complete agreement, your case will be put on a contested track.

Common issues in Texas contested divorces 

When a couple has joint assets and/or minor children, disagreements can arise over any of the following:

  • Alimony — Should a dependent or lower-earning spouse receive spousal maintenance? If so, how much and for how long? 
  • Child custody — Where will the children live and with whom? Who will make decisions about their upbringing, education, health, and welfare? A detailed custody/visitation schedule must be put in place to protect each party’s parental rights. 
  • Child support — Although Texas has state guidelines for payment of basic support, parents often argue over additional expenses, such as private school tuition and expenses for enrichment activities.
  • Division of marital assets and debts — Although Texas community property law calls for allocating the marital estate evenly between the spouses, there can be disagreements over details. These include whether an asset or debt belongs in the marital estate, how much a particular asset is worth and whether a spouse’s misconduct should affect the total allocation.

To protect your interests, you need an attorney who knows the law and who acquires a detailed understanding of the facts of your case.

The legal process for contested divorce in Texas

Texas law requires that one spouse be a resident of the state for at least six months and a resident of a particular county for at least 90 days prior to filing for divorce. Either spouse may file the divorce petition and serve the other spouse, who has the right to file an answer. Afterward, the case moves into the discovery phase, where parties exchange information and evidence. Disputes often arise over either party’s willingness to be transparent and make full disclosures. It may be necessary to depose the parties and key witnesses on the issues. 

Before the case goes to trial, parties can attempt to reach agreement on issues through negotiation or mediation. These methods often yield at least a partial settlement which the parties can submit to the court for approval. Then, only the outstanding issues need go to trial, at which the judge will decide any issues the spouses have failed to resolve on their own. The judge will then issue a divorce decree stating the terms of the dissolution, which the parties are obliged to observe.

The role of a family law attorney in a contested divorce

Your attorney is obligated to protect your rights and to seek the best results possible under the facts of your case. This requires making an objective appraisal of the strengths and weaknesses of your case, as well as of the likelihood of obtaining desired results on contested issues. Based on this appraisal, your attorney advises you on litigation strategy, but ultimately follows the course you set for litigating your divorce.

Contact our Denton, Texas divorce attorneys today

Hayes, Berry, White & Vanzant, LLP provides experienced representation in contested divorce cases in Denton, Flower Mound or Gainesville. Call our firm at 940-230-2386 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

  • "Absolute best in the business hands down! Don White is absolutely amazing wouldn’t ever consider using anyone else, we highly recommend this firm!" - Alyssa McKissaack

  • "The best! Richard has been my family’s attorney for 35 years. Integrity best describes Richard Hayes." - John Grafa

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