If you’re thinking about getting divorced in Texas, there are multiple options available to you. In Texas, there are several different types of divorce, including fault divorce, no-fault divorce, default divorce, uncontested divorce, mediated divorce, litigated divorce, and arbitrated divorce. 

However, perhaps the biggest difference between these types of divorces is whether your divorce goes to court or not. 

As opposed to an “uncontested divorce” where both parties agree on the terms of the divorce outside of court, a litigated divorce requires court appearances and usually necessitates hiring a divorce attorney. So which type of divorce is right for your unique circumstances? Learn more about uncontested and litigated divorce options below: 

Uncontested Divorce

This is often the least expensive type of divorce as it is settled out of court. Practically speaking, however, it requires spouses to be on relatively equal terms, good communicators, and able to do their own research on the law. It tends to work poorly when the marriage has children or legal assets, which makes things significantly more complicated. In addition, those seeking uncontested divorces are at a higher risk of accidentally giving up rights due to not seeking an attorney, or ending up in court if arrangements crumble under the stress of the actual divorce. 

If you and your spouse have agreed divorce is the best option and have pre-negotiated important issues, such as how to divide marital property, then you might get an uncontested divorce. You’ll put your divorce agreement in writing, attend a hearing before a judge, and your divorce will be finalized. An uncontested divorce is most common for new couples, those who don’t have children, or those without significant assets or debts, and it’s one of the least expensive ways to divorce.

Litigated Divorce

A litigated, or “contested,” divorce is your best option if spouses cannot come to an agreement about important issues, such as child support or how marital property is divided. Sometimes, litigation is the only option—particularly when a spouse is operating in bad faith or there is domestic violence involved. Litigation is also the final option for those who have tried other forms of divorce, and failed to reach acceptable compromises. 

A contested divorce is usually what people think of when they picture getting divorced: a divorce case that ends up in a court of law. This is often the most expensive of divorce processes, and often takes the longest, sometimes rolling on for years. In all litigated divorces, the judge has the final say in everything.

This blog does not constitute legal advice. If you’re thinking about getting divorced in Texas and aren’t sure what’s in your best interest or what type of divorce is best for you, consult the expert team at Sandoval Family Law. We specialize in making sure that you and your interests are protected—no matter which sort of divorce you ultimately choose.