If either of the couples decides to file a divorce, the first step for him/her is to file a petition in a proper way. Simple divorce petitions are filed due to irreconcilable differences between the couples and these petitions don’t mention any words for blaming the other party. However, the complicated cases have clear mention of the reasons in the petitions. Sometimes the alleged party in a divorce lawsuit decides to contest or fight those reasons. However, a spouse is also entitled to contest the relief, which is the ultimate goal of divorce.
Contesting Reasons in Divorce Petitions
In some cases, the divorce petitions clearly state the reasons for filing a lawsuit. After going through the reasons, anyone can easily understand that one party is putting the blames on his/her spouse with an intention to receive some benefits. In case of misleading or false allegations, the other spouse may contest the reasons stated as grounds for divorce by filing another lawsuit.
The document will contain the other spouse’s defences against the wrongful allegations stated in the original petition. The spouse, who did not file the first petition, is entitled to clear his position in the entire episode.
More about Defenses
If a spouse decides to contest the reasons listed in the petition by the other party, several kinds of defences may exist for any particular scenario. For example, if one spouse mentions physical and/or mental abuse as a ground for divorce, the other party may wish to defend the charge by claiming that the incidents were provoked. It is called the affirmative defense.
Another type of defense is termed recrimination, which may see one spouse bringing the allegation of infidelity against the other party and the defendant labels the same charge against the filing party. Any receiving spouse is entitled to lodge a counter petition stating his own grounds for seeking a divorce.
Affirmative defenses are not a compulsory in order to oppose the relief sought by a petition. If one spouse is claiming half of the marital assets, the other party may disagree on this point without contesting the grounds stated by the filing spouse for a divorce. If a wife cheats on her husband and the other party states as much in the divorce petition, the wife needs no defense regarding the cheating matter to contest the property division.
Like in other pursuits, in divorces cases too, time is most important. Contesting every single point in a divorce case consumes some time. If a divorce case is dragged for long, it adds to expenses. If spouses don’t agree with the points stated in the petition or disagree only on the relief, one of them should compromise. If neither of them compromises, the case proceeds to trial. Due to shortage of funds, motivation or time, the couples may find out a middle ground for divorce settlement in the event of a heavily contested proceeding. If you are planning a divorce, consult with a Houston contested divorce lawyer for an effective and early settlement.