A divorce is the termination of a marriage or a marital union before the death of either spouse. The effect of a divorce is that the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage, and the bond of matrimony between you and your partner are completely severed. Either spouse may initiate a divorce and the divorce can be contested or uncontested, no-fault or at-fault divorce, and a mediated or collaborative divorce.
No-fault or at-fault divorce
When a divorce is granted on grounds of cruelty, adultery, conviction of a felony, abandonment, living apart for at least three years, and confinement to a mental hospital it is a fault-based divorce.
In Texas a spouse can obtain a no-fault divorce on grounds of insupportability. This means that the personal conflict between the two spouses has destroyed the very purpose of the marriage without a reasonable hope for reconciliation.
Contested vs. uncontested divorce
In a contested divorce the spouses have unresolved issues. Consequently, the spouse who is the petitioner files an original petition for divorce, indicating the reasons for asking for the divorce, the relief (s)he is requesting from the court and any temporary orders (s)he may need from the court. In a contested divorce, the parties disagree on some or all of the issues in the divorce. At Kafor Law Firm, PLLC, we make recommendations to our clients on the possible outcome of the contested issues, and encourage our client to be reasonable throughout the negotiation or mediation process. Sometimes, a contested divorce may be resolved by agreement of the parties through the help of the attorneys. However, at Kafor Law Firm, PLLC, we are prepared to represent our clients in trial, if the parties do not reach agreement.
In an uncontested divorce both spouses are in agreement on child custody and support issues, marital property issues and spousal support issues, and they sign all the required papers to document this understanding.
Mediated or collaborative divorce
In mediation, a neutral third party (the mediator) considers the interests of the spouses (could be in the presence of their lawyers) and helps them take decisions about issues arising from their divorce. This is non-adversarial and is cooperative.
Collaborative divorce requires four or more parties and it is adversarial. Each party hires a collaborative attorney (a divorce lawyer trained in the collaborative law process) and the parties and their attorneys meet to negotiate and try to come to an agreement on the subject.