Can I get a divorce in Texas without going to trial?
- June 25th, 2021
- Cheryl McGirr
- Comments Off on Can I get a divorce in Texas without going to trial?
Can you get a divorce in Texas without going to trial?
Most divorce cases are settled without going to trial. The judge will likely order mediation in the case before the parties go to trial. Judges prefer that the parties work out issues on their own, if possible, and use the court as a last resort. Going to trial is usually more difficult for both spouses and children if there are any involved. Going to trial is also substantially more expensive in most situations.
Uncontested divorce is also a possible option. An uncontested divorce means that both parties have reached agreement on all the issues. Common issues generally include the following:
- Agreeing to be divorced
- Parental decision-making responsibility for the children
- Parental visitation schedule
- The amount and duration of child support
- The amount and duration of any spousal support
- The division of all property and all debts
One spouse may not be forced to agree to an uncontested divorce by the other spouse. In an uncontested divorce, either both spouses agree on all the issues, or not. If you do not agree on all but most of the issues, then the divorce is not uncontested. However, agreeing on the majority of the issues in a divorce is helpful, but not agreeing on all issues means there are still contested issues. The contested issues may require court hearings to reach a resolution.
Even if both spouses agree on all the issues, generally, someone will have to go to appear in court and answer a few questions and let the court know that the divorce has settled. The Texas Family Code requires at least one spouse to appear before the court and provide very basic testimony. The court appearance is commonly known as a “prove up hearing.” The testimony is very general and informs the court of the divorce’s final terms and requests the court grant the divorce based on the agreement. However, there are possible alternatives to an actual appearance in court for a prove-up hearing, depending on the court. With the court’s permission, someone can appear via phone or give testimony through a written deposition. Under COVID guidelines, this is available quite often thus allowing the parties to be divorced upon signing an agreed decree of divorce and presenting written sworn testimony to provide the evidence necessary for the judge to grant the divorce.
Divorce – Trial