Some couples who decide to end their marriage are fortunate enough to agree on important issues like how property and custody should be divided. However, many couples argue over each aspect of the dissolution of their marriage, which generally leads to a contested divorce. Contested divorces often result in protracted legal battles that can be both costly and emotionally frustrating. As such, it is critical for people who wish to end their marriages or who have been served with legal papers instituting a divorce seek legal counsel regarding their rights and options. The Dallas contested divorce lawyers of McClure Law Group are skilled at handling difficult divorce cases, and if you engage our services, we will fight tirelessly to help you seek the best result available in your case.Pleadings in a Contested Divorce
In any Texas divorce, the case begins with the filing of an Original Petition for Divorce (the Petition) that sets forth the grounds for seeking to dissolve the marriage and the relief the petitioner is seeking from the court. For example, it may state that the marriage has become insupportable due to irreconcilable differences, and it is requested that the court divide all community property. The petitioner must then notify the responding spouse of the Petition, which can be accomplished by having the respondent sign a waiver of service or serving the Petition.
The responding spouse must then file an Answer on the Monday that falls after 20 days have passed since service of the Petition. If the respondent disagrees with some or all of the assertions in the Petition, he or she will likely file an Answer setting forth a general denial, making it a contested divorce. Contested divorces are common in cases involving complex marital estates or disagreements over custody. In many instances, the respondent will also file a Counterpetition, stating what he or she believes to be the grounds for divorce and noting what relief is sought. A contested divorce attorney can assist Dallas residents with any of these filings.Resolving Contested Issues
After pleadings are complete, either party can request temporary orders. In such instances, the court will hold a hearing during which each party may present evidence supporting their positions on matters like child support and custody. Temporary orders can also dictate things like who gets to remain in the marital residence and how bills are to be paid. They are often necessary to allow parties to meet their financial needs and maintain their parent-child relationships during the pendency of the divorce.
The parties will then typically engage in discovery and negotiations to determine if any disputed issues can be resolved. Depending on the cause of disagreement between spouses, either party may need to retain experts, such as a forensic accountant or child psychologist, to present evidence in support of his or her position. In some cases, a couple will proceed to mediation, which is a process involving a neutral third-party who attempts to help the parties come to a compromise over undecided issues and develop a marital settlement agreement.
If negotiations are ultimately unsuccessful, the court will conduct a final hearing to resolve any contested issues. Each party can retain a Dallas contested divorce attorney to represent them at the hearing. Either party can request the hearing, but at least 45 days’ notice must be provided to the other party. During the hearing, the court will weigh any evidence produced by either party. The court will then issue a final decree dissolving the marriage and determining any disputed matters.Speak to a Knowledgeable Attorney in Dallas
People ending their marriage often disagree on key issues, which can lead to contentious battles. If you or your spouse wish to seek a divorce but cannot agree on the terms of your dissolution, it is vital to retain a lawyer who will fight to protect your interests. The attorneys of McClure Law Group are skilled at developing compelling arguments in favor of our clients, and we will work diligently to help you pursue your desired outcome. Our primary office is located in Dallas, and we are available to meet for conferences at our Collin County office in Plano. We regularly help people with divorce matters in Richardson, McKinney, Rockwall, Garland, Irving, Fort Worth, and Frisco. We also represent people in family law cases in cities throughout Dallas, Tarrant, Grayson, Denton, Collin, and Rockwall Counties. You can reach us via our form online or at 214.692.8200 to set up a conference with a contested divorce lawyer in the Dallas area.