Having to make the choice between an agreed or contested divorce can be difficult. The decision really lies in the circumstances of the divorce itself. Most couples will say they plan on having a clean, agreed divorce. However, there are a few reasons to set this decision aside and work with a family law attorney on filing for a contested divorce in order for the process to remain fair.
1. The Division of Property is Confusing
One of the most common areas that a divorcing couple takes issue with is that of dividing marital property. When the time comes to divide marital property, if you can’t understand what constitutes as marital property or what mistakes to avoid, you could potentially cause yourself some hefty legal and financial damage.
Understanding the factors in your specific state that can impact the division of property is important. If you haven’t thought this part of your divorce through, then you may need to look into filing for a contested divorce. Even if there are currently not any arguments about the division of property or child custody you will want to consider filing contested simply to protect yourself.
2. Your Spouse has Assaulted You or Your Children
Assault, either mental or physical, creates zero grounds for an agreed divorce. In the state of Texas, cruelty is grounds for divorce and is considered to render living together as unsupportable. If trying to file for an agreed divorce, this situation could be problematic. Usually, in these instances, one party would attempt to overpower the other in an agreed divorce. This situation can be dangerous and life-threatening. Working with a North Texas divorce lawyer, you will be able to file a restraining order as well as be enabled to proceed with a contested divorce through a Texas court.
3. Fraud is in the Picture
Even in an agreed divorce, issues like fraud can definitely ruin an amicable situation. Knowing the warning signs that your partner may have committed financial fraud throughout your marriage is important. In an agreed divorce, this situation can easily leave one member of the party short-changed when it comes to dividing marital assets.
Note that financial fraud is very unlikely in most divorces, but some issues can arise, like an upset spouse racking up credit card debt or using up shared bank accounts. These issues can easily lead to opting out of an agreed divorce and into contested territory.
Fraud Red Flags
If you suspect that your future ex-spouse is capable of performing financial sabotage, here are some of the red flags to look out for:
- New mail being received
- Spending time on electronics and hiding the screen when you walk in
- Lying or performing other forms of deceptive behavior
- Hiding transaction details
- Repeated cash withdrawals
- Loaning money to family and friends without warning
Marx, Altman & Johnson Can Help You Decide What Type of Divorce to Pursue
If you need help deciding on how to approach your divorce, we can help. Get in touch with Marx, Altman & Johnson to have a team of professional Dallas family attorneys on your side during this complicated time in your life.