Can You Get a Divorce Without Going to Court?

If you are getting divorced in the state of Texas, at least one of you will have to go to a final hearing to have the judge sign off on the divorce papers. The judge will ask some questions and check that there is an agreement between the two spouses. This is called a “prove-up” hearing.

After this is done, the divorce is final. This is how most divorces are processed in Texas.

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It is possible that you may be required to attend other court proceedings before the prove-up hearing. This will depend on whether the divorce is contested or not.

Uncontested divorce

If the divorce will be uncontested, and you feel that you can work out the details together, you may only have to appear in court to have the final document signed by the judge. This is the easiest and least painful way to get through a divorce.

Work with your spouse, and be prepared to show agreement on property distribution, custody of the child, child support, and alimony. The more you can agree upon ahead of time, the smoother the process will be in court.

Contested divorce

Contested divorce is a different matter altogether. If your spouse does not agree with the divorce or disagrees with some of the points outlined in the petition for divorce, you will most likely be going to court to have a judge settle these matters.

In terms of the divorce cannot be agreed upon, then a full trial will be conducted. You need to be prepared with witnesses and evidence to take to court. You will also be called to testify, and you should expect your spouse to testify as well.

After this trial, the divorce decree will be drawn up by the court, making the divorce final. The court will make their ruling on all custody, support, and property matters. A judgment will be made as to whether the conservatorship of the children will be a Sole Conservatorship or Joint Conservatorship.

Will I need an attorney to go to court?

If you are in a situation where you are filing for divorce, and there is a good chance that the divorce will be contested, consider hiring a divorce attorney right from the start. You probably have an idea how the divorce will be received by your spouse. An attorney specializing in divorce will be by your side from the initial filings to the final hearing. Using a divorce attorney will usually get the best possible outcome for you.

Will going to court be expensive?

It might be. The more things you can work out with your spouse and come to an agreement on, the better. Negotiation and compromise are necessary when it comes to settling a contested divorce. This may prove difficult, especially in a “fault” divorce case, but it is important to remain courteous. It is a painful process for both spouses, and especially for children when a divorce is not amicable.