Texas is one of two states in the United States that permit jury trials for divorce cases upon request. If you have gone to trial for a divorce, you are certainly in what divorce attorneys call a contested case. Contested cases can be very nasty ordeals for all concerned, including the divorce lawyers. San Antonio, like so many cities in the state of Texas, is located smack dab in the center of what many refer to as the “Bible Belt” of our nation. In a divorce trial, not only do you experience the humiliation of exposing the reasons for a failed marriage to the public, a stigma is often attached to the participants who may endure a lifetime of shame for their failure to live up to societal expectations.
Whether Texas society is right or wrong in the judgmental way they approach divorce, or whether or not your humiliation is self illusion, before entering a contested marital divorce, you may want to ask yourself a couple of simple questions. First of all, is there any way for reconciliation between you and your spouse? If your answer to the first question is honestly “no,” then you may want to ask yourself, is there any way you can get out of a bad marriage without risking public humiliation?
With approximately 22 million people living in Texas, over 60 percent consider themselves as church members of some type of religion, and over 53 percent of those church-ed consider themselves as Christian. With strong similar values, work ethics, and community minded service of Texas Christians, there should be no wonder the legal system in Texas has been influenced by this group when it comes to the marriage institution. Texans value hard work and commitment, traits shared by the tenets of the Christian faith, but in 2005, for every ten marriages, there were approximately 3.4 divorces. The divorce rate did not seem to change regardless of religious or non-religious affiliations. The important thing to note about these statistics is the fact most all Texans value hard work and commitment, two traits essential in making a marriage contract work. Therefore, since Texans across the board share these essentials in marital values, doesn’t it stand to reason that if at all possible, you should try to reconcile before acquiescing to divorce first ?
Obviously, there are reasons some people should not stay married, the threat of imminent harm being chief amongst them. So, if you have come to the place where you have decided there is no other alternative to divorce, there are two ways you can get a divorce in Texas- contested or non-contested. A non-contested divorce is commonly called a No-Fault or Uncontested divorce. The process can be as simple as filling out an Original Petition For Divorce, a legal document easily obtained, and filing it with the proper Court that has jurisdiction to hear the cause. Texas permits No-Fault divorce when the marriage has become insupportable because of conflict of personalities that has destroyed the legitimate ends of the marriage relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation or when the parties live separate and apart without cohabitation of three years. Providing that you and your spouse can amiably agree on the terms of the divorce about your finances, assets, and children, the process is relatively simple and inexpensive. So, doesn’t it stand to reason that if you feel like you have to have a divorce, you should try and obtain a No-Fault divorce?
There are many reasons two people who have been married a while may not be able to amiably and maturely come to terms involving finances, assets, and children. In the event this happens, and it often does, there exists a real possibility for a contested divorce. When it does happen, you can present your case before a judge or a jury. In either case, it may be wise to be legally represented. In addition to the two legal reasons permitted by law for a No-Fault divorce, Texas also permits Fault divorce on grounds of adultery, abandonment, confinement for incurable insanity for over three years, conviction of a felony and imprisonment for over one year, and cruel and inhuman treatment. Obviously, these issues are all value based, and one of the issues have to be stated in a Petition For Divorce as the reason the petitioner is wanting to end the marriage. Thus, to many, the potential for humiliation and shame comes through public exposure, because in Texas, the court system is open to the public.
Regardless of the decision concerning divorce you may have to make, there are divorce lawyers in Texas who understand divorce law, and have the negotiating skills to help you reconcile or settle your divorce case. Let us help you find a divorce attorney in your area that is more than willing to help you make the legal decisions that are right for you.
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