Does Every Divorce Go to Trial?
If you are considering a divorce, you might get stressed simply thinking about the process. Not only must you uproot your life as you know it, but you also might have images of emotional courtroom battles in your head. No one wants to go through a contentious divorce that leads to trial, and while some require litigation, the good news is that most divorces are resolved out of court.
Your first move should be to discuss the process and what you might expect with an experienced Southlake divorce lawyer who can assess your options.
Why Cases Might Go to Trial
Divorce requires spouses to resolve numerous issues before they can end their marriage. These include:
- Community property division
- Child-related matters, including support and conservatorship
- Spousal maintenance
Litigation plays a role in a divorce if the spouses cannot agree on one or more issues. It can also arise if one spouse disputes the stated fault-based grounds for the divorce. They will need to present their sides to the judge, who will rule on any unresolved matters. When one or both spouses are playing hardball and refusing to compromise, the case is likely to go to court.
Many spouses file uncontested divorces in Texas, which makes the process significantly easier and quicker. Your attorney can advise whether this is a realistic option in your case. This option is possible if the spouses agree on:
- Wanting to legally end the marriage
- The grounds for the divorce
- How to resolve all divorce-related issues involving children and finances
If you and your spouse are in agreement about the above, your lawyer can draft the proposed settlement agreement. Then, all the family court judge will need to do is review the agreement and approve it if the terms comply with Texas law.
If you and your spouse have some sticking points at the start of the process – which is common – it does not necessarily mean you are headed for court. Your respective divorce lawyers can negotiate terms, or you might participate in mediation to facilitate compromise. Many spouses are able to reach an agreement at some point before requiring court intervention.
What if You have to Go to Trial?
Maybe your spouse is vengeful and refuses to negotiate out of spite. Maybe there are complex issues of jointly-owned businesses and other complex assets, and you disagree with appraisals and other technical matters. Perhaps your spouse was abusive, so you want to seek sole custody, and they are fighting against it.
Whatever the reason your case does not settle out of court, you want a divorce attorney who is ready to represent your rights and interests at trial. An experienced litigator is necessary to protect your future.
Discuss Your Options with a Southlake Divorce Lawyer
At the law firm of Mims Ballew Hollingsworth | Family Law, our legal team handles all types of divorces – from those that settle relatively quickly to those requiring complex litigation. Contact us to discuss your situation and how we might help.