& Courtroom Experience
Divorce is a trying time both for you and your children.
When a couple makes the decision to part ways, there are a number of changes that everyone has to accept. The majority of divorces are contentious.
Spouses may not see eye-to-eye on critical issues. Those can include the need to divorce, the division of property, and most importantly, custody arrangements for the children.
It’s important to have someone on your side advocating for your interests. The Collin County divorce attorneys at the Tidwell Law Firm, PLLC help many clients negotiate favorable arrangements with their former spouses.
Fault vs. No-Fault Divorce under Texas Law
Texas is one of a number of states that offer fault-based and no-fault divorces. Couples generally opt for no-fault divorces. Under a no-fault divorce, the couple tells the court that the marriage is no longer supportable and that the couple has irreconcilable differences. No other reason needs to be given.
In the past, this was not an option. One individual who wanted to leave a marriage had to tell the court that there was a specific reason they want their marriage dissolved. This led to false accusations and individuals staying in abusive relationships when they could not prove grounds. The no-fault divorce option ended that.
What is a No-Fault Divorce?
When a couple tells the court they no longer wish to be married, a no-fault divorce takes place. No specific reason is necessary. The benefit of choosing this option is that it tends to be much quicker, avoids unnecessary turmoil, and neither party receives blame.
In addition, community property divides in half and the court bases custody issues on a boilerplate visitation model. The divorcing couple’s attorneys handle most issues, and the court ratifies and enforces the terms.
No-Fault Does Not Mean Uncontested
Even no-fault divorces can be hotly contested. Couples may disagree on child custody arrangements, primary custodianship, or key decisions about the child’s welfare.
In addition, couples may differ on issues related to property distribution, child support, and alimony. During the divorce, attorneys handle these issues. No-fault divorces tend to be easier, but that is not a guarantee.
What is a Fault-Based Divorce?
Fault-based divorces can occur for a number of reasons. One of the most obvious reasons is that one spouse does not agree to the divorce. When that happens, the party filing for divorce can have their attorney draw up a list of reasons why the divorce should go through and file a fault-based divorce. Common reasons for filing a fault-based divorce include:
- Mental incapacity,
- A felony conviction,
- Or three years of living apart.
You and your attorney, however, must be able to prove any grounds claimed for destroying the marriage.
When one spouse is at fault for the demise of the marriage, the other spouse may potentially collect more alimony for a longer period of time, and it may also affect property distribution.
However, unless the reason for the dissolution of the marriage or the “fault” has a specific bearing on the welfare of the children (for instance: abuse), it will not affect custody arrangements.
A Third Option: Uncontested Divorce
An uncontested divorce is similar to a no-fault divorce, but the two spouses agree to every aspect of the post-divorce arrangement. This includes the division of property, custody arrangements, child support, spousal support, and any other issues that may arise.
The couple then hands the agreement over to their attorneys who look it over, file the necessary paperwork, and then submit the agreement to the court.
Of the options, this tends to be the least stressful and easiest. However, it only works when both parties are willing to come together on an agreement that is in the best interests of everyone, not just themselves. In some circumstances, it will be inappropriate. If one spouse made all the decisions or one spouse was abusive, even verbally, then uncontested divorces have little chance of success.
Contact a McKinney, Texas Divorce Attorney Today
The Mckinney, TX divorce attorneys at the Tidwell Law Firm, PLLC have helped our clients resolve issues related to their divorce. Our job is to advocate for your interests and for those of your children. We help divorcing couples with issues related to custody, property, child support, and spousal support.
Give us a call or contact us online and we can help you get the best outcome for you and your children.
Source: Texas Health and Human Services
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