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What circumstances will generally give rise to divorce litigation?

Most divorce cases will end up settling out of court.  Settling your divorce case can save money and time, but in some cases litigation is simply the only option.  Our Midland Texas divorce lawyers at Navarrete and Schwartz, P.C., review some common divorce scenarios in which litigation is often inevitable.

  1.  Domestic violence: If domestic violence occurred during the marriage, it can render negotiations impossible.  When one spouse fears the other or has taken out a restraining order against the abusive spouse, they may physically be unable to be present in the same room in order to discuss divorce issues.  
  2. Hotly contested divorce issues:  At times, spouses will attempt to reach an agreement on central divorce issues like child custody, division of assets, maintenance, and more, but find themselves at an impasse.  When an agreement cannot be reached on a key divorce issue, then the only alternative is to let the courts decide.
  3. One spouse does not want the divorce:  Often, divorce is unilateral in nature. If one spouse wants the divorce and the other does not, it can create an emotionally charged atmosphere that is simply not conducive to out of court negotiations.
  4. Substance abuse:  If one spouse has a substance abuse problem, whether it be alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescription medication, they will not be of sound mind to negotiate a divorce.  Court involvement may be the only option to reach a fair divorce decree.
  5. Child abuse: Where child abuse or parental alienation occurred during the marriage, the court will need to step in.  Child abuse is a serious allegation that must be dealt with carefully.  Court involvement will ensure the allegations are investigated and handled in the appropriate manner.
  6. Power imbalance:  When one spouse controls the majority of the finances, the other spouse may be at too much of a disadvantage to reasonably negotiate for a fair divorce settlement.  Court involvement can ensure the power imbalance is corrected so that a fair divorce is reached. 

Anyone considering filing for divorce in Texas should contact a divorce attorney as soon as possible.  Your lawyer will help you to determine based on the facts surrounding your marriage and impending divorce whether litigation is your best option.