Why Should One File a Counter Suit in a Texas Divorce?

By Maria Hahalis

If you are going through a divorce in Texas and do not know the laws, it may make an already difficult process more stressful. A divorce can be either contested or uncontested. You may think that if both you and your spouse want a divorce that it isn't necessary to file a countersuit; however, a countersuit, or counter-petition, may be necessary, depending on your situation. Understanding how Texas divorce laws work will help you make the right choices to protect your interests.

If you are going through a divorce in Texas and do not know the laws, it may make an already difficult process more stressful. A divorce can be either contested or uncontested. You may think that if both you and your spouse want a divorce that it isn't necessary to file a countersuit; however, a countersuit, or counter-petition, may be necessary, depending on your situation. Understanding how Texas divorce laws work will help you make the right choices to protect your interests.

Petition for Divorce

To begin the divorce process in Texas, one party must file a petition for divorce, which is essentially a lawsuit, with the court. The petition alleges the grounds for divorce and requests orders for division of property and custody of the children, if applicable. If your spouse files a petition and then formally serves you with divorce papers, you have 20 days to respond and file an answer, regardless of whether you decide to file a counter-petition. A counter-petition allows you to raise issues not addressed by your spouse's petition.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Contested Divorce

A contested divorce is one in which both parties are not in agreement that they want a divorce, or don't agree on the division of property and/or a custody arrangement. If your divorce is contested, a counter-petition can assert what you believe is the best way to split your assets, as well as the custody arrangement you seek. A divorce may be granted in Texas even if both parties do not want one. A counter-petition does not stop the divorce process; it merely protects your interests throughout the proceeding.

Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce is one in which both parties want the divorce and agree on custody and property division. In this situation, one party typically files the petition for divorce and the other party signs a waiver, which waives the right to service and does not trigger the requirement to file a formal answer. As such, there isn't a counter-petition. If your divorce starts out uncontested and then the situation changes, you would have to file a petition to amend your waiver, and then file the answer or counterclaim.

Temporary Orders

Temporary orders are standard in all divorce proceedings and govern what the parties can and cannot do during the divorce process until the divorce is final. If your divorce is contested, there may be specific things you want to happen during the waiting period before your divorce is final. The counter-petition can include requests for certain temporary orders that secure financial support and living arrangements throughout the divorce proceedings.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Do-It-Yourself Texas Divorce With Children

References

Related articles

Contested Divorce Procedures

The exact procedures of divorce vary between states, but divorce can be a fairly simple process if you have an uncontested divorce. For a divorce to be uncontested, you and your spouse must agree on the reason for the divorce and the terms of the settlement, such as property division, child custody and alimony. However, if you and your spouse contest, or dispute, the terms of your divorce -- or the reason for the divorce itself -- the process may be longer and more expensive.

How Long Do You Have to Wait to Get a Divorce in DC?

If you want your divorce case to move quickly, you and your spouse should try to come to an agreement regarding all issues of your divorce, including the division of marital property and child custody arrangements. In Washington D.C., an uncontested divorce, in which the spouses are in agreement, generally takes two to three months from the date you file the divorce complaint to be finalized. In contrast, a contested divorce, in which the spouses cannot come to an agreement on their own but need the court’s assistance, can take 18 months or longer.

What If I Don't Want to Sign Divorce Papers?

Although divorce is often difficult to face, you must be involved in the court proceedings so you don't lose what you're entitled to. Your spouse doesn't need your participation to get a divorce from you. As long as he notifies you after filing the petition and follows the court's rules, he can get a final divorce decree in court.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

What Happens After Filing for Divorce in Oregon?

When you file for divorce, you will complete a divorce petition. The petition asks for personal information about both ...

What Is the Process for Getting a Divorce in GA?

Most states share similar divorce procedures. In all jurisdictions, a complaint for divorce is required to begin the ...

How to File a Motion for Divorce if a Spouse Is Stalling

If you want a divorce, but your spouse is stalling, you can still get a divorce. All 50 states now offer a no-fault ...

Can Someone Refuse to Get Divorced in Illinois?

Spouses often divorce because they cannot seem to get along, and sometimes that struggle carries over into the divorce ...

Browse by category