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2 times you need to litigate your divorce

On Behalf of | Mar 10, 2023 | Divorce

With all the talk about “conscious uncoupling” these days, it seems like litigated divorces are a thing of the past – but are they?

When a couple can agree on all the major issues that have to be decided, including things like spousal support, the division of marital property and any custody issues, they can have an uncontested divorce. These are typically faster (and cheaper) than contested divorces that have to be litigated in court. For that reason alone, uncontested divorces are highly popular.

Courts, too, tend to push couples to resolve their issues through a combination of negotiation, mediation and other methods that will keep them from litigating. That not only helps keep the court’s docket under control, but it facilitates agreements that everybody will actually keep.

However, an uncontested divorce is not right for everybody. Here are two times you definitely should consider litigating:

Your spouse is abusing the negotiation process

If your spouse is highly controlling, abusive or manipulative, they may not enter divorce negotiations in good faith.

If they break promises and renege on agreements faster than they make them or keep dragging the process down with unreasonable delays, they may be using the whole negotiation process as a method to inflict more psychological damage on you. Litigation essentially removes their ability to control either the timeline or the outcome of the case.

You believe that your spouse is hiding assets or income

Texas is a community property state, so you generally have a right to an equal share of all the marital assets – but you have to know what’s there before you can claim them.

If your spouse seems to have been planning the divorce for a while, and there’s evidence they’ve moved funds around or hidden certain assets, you may need the court’s help to uncover what’s there. You can encounter the same problems if you think your spouse is hiding income that should be factored into support payments.

If you find yourself questioning whether an uncontested divorce is even possible, it may be time to get some legal help to assess the situation.