If you and your spouse are facing a less-than-amicable parting of ways, you may wonder what to expect in terms of a contested divorce.
You should prepare for a process involving several steps before you can put the divorce behind you.
Filing the petition
First, you must file an Original Petition for Divorce at the courthouse in the county where you reside. Along with the petition, you must state the reason for your divorce and make any requests such as a hearing for child support, or your desire for a temporary restraining order. The judge will sign off on your paperwork and the court will serve your spouse with divorce documents.
Preparing for a hearing
Next is the temporary orders hearing. Here you will present evidence and provide witnesses that will back up your wish for a certain outcome from the divorce. The court will want to know that you can pay your bills and that your children will be able to spend time with you and the other parent during the divorce proceedings. This is an important part of the process that your attorney can help you manage.
A contested divorce in Texas requires the effort to negotiate. You and your spouse will work with a mediator to resolve conflicts over certain topics such as property division matters. If the two of you can reach an agreement on all points, the divorce is over. If not, the final step in the process is a trial during which you will make your arguments. The presiding judge will determine the outcome of the issues and finalize your divorce.