Contested Divorce in Austin


Overcoming Obstacles and Managing Conflict

Divorce is a challenging journey for anyone, but when disagreements arise and neither party can reach a consensus, the process transitions into what is known as a contested divorce. In Austin, Texas, this option becomes the path couples embark on when they cannot agree on one or several aspects of their separation, including child custody, asset division, alimony, or other critical issues, so the courts will step in to help facilitate a mutual arrangement. We aim to shed light on the contested divorce process in Austin, offering insights on what to expect, the dos and don’ts, and the pivotal role of an Austin contested divorce lawyer in navigating these turbulent waters.

What is Contested Divorce in Austin?

A contested divorce in Austin takes place when the spouses are unable to mutually agree on key issues regarding their separation. Unlike an uncontested divorce, where both parties amicably agree on all terms, a contested divorce requires intervention from the court to resolve disputes. The process involves filing a petition, serving the other party, responding, and potentially engaging in mediation or court hearings to settle disagreements. This legal pathway is often complex, emotionally taxing, and necessitates a comprehensive understanding of Texas family laws and procedures. It is a good idea to consult with an experienced contested divorce lawyer in Austin to help navigate the process.

What to Expect in Texas

When going through the contested divorce process in Texas you can typically expect to take the following steps:

  • Filing a Petition: The process begins with one spouse filing a divorce petition, outlining the grounds for divorce and initial demands.
  • Response and Temporary Orders: The other spouse has the opportunity to file a response, contesting the terms set forth. The court may issue temporary orders to address immediate needs such as child custody, support, and asset protection during proceedings.
  • Discovery: Both parties engage in the discovery process, exchanging documents and information pertinent to the issues at hand. This phase is crucial for gathering evidence to support each party’s case.
  • Mediation: Often, courts encourage or mandate mediation to allow spouses a chance to resolve their differences outside of court, with the help of a neutral third party.
  • Trial: If mediation fails, the next step is a trial, where a judge hears the case and makes final decisions on all contested issues.

It is not uncommon for contested divorces to be highly emotional. Lean on those closest to you for support throughout the process and protect yourself and your assets by hiring an attorney that can advocate for you the entire time.

Do’s and Don’ts When Facing a Contested Divorce in Austin


  • Hire an Experienced Lawyer: The complexity of contested divorces in Austin cannot be understated. An experienced lawyer can offer invaluable guidance, advocacy, and support.
  • Document Everything: Keep thorough records of all communications, financial documents, and relevant interactions. This evidence can be pivotal in court proceedings.
  • Stay Actively Involved: Engage actively in your case by staying informed about the legal process, understanding your rights, and participating in strategy discussions with your lawyer. This active involvement ensures that your voice is heard and your interests are fully represented.
  • Prioritize Your Well-being: The stress of a contested divorce can take a toll on your physical and mental health. Prioritize self-care, seek support from friends, family, or professionals, and find healthy ways to manage stress. Maintaining your well-being is crucial for making clear-headed decisions throughout the process.


  • Disregard Legal Advice: Your lawyer understands the nuances of Texas family laws and the Travis County court system. They are there to advocate for your best interests and protect you from making mistakes along the way. Ignoring their advice can jeopardize your case.
  • Let Emotions Dictate Decisions: Although difficult, try to approach decisions pragmatically rather than emotionally. Long-term well-being should guide your actions.
  • Violate Court Orders: Adhering to temporary orders regarding custody, support, or property is crucial. Violations can negatively impact your case.
  • Underestimate the Impact on Children: If children are involved, avoid exposing them to conflicts and legal discussions. It’s vital to shield them from the stress of the separation and ensure their needs and emotional well-being are prioritized. Making custody-related decisions with their best interest in mind is crucial.
  • Use Social Media Recklessly: Be cautious about what you post on social media. Public postings can be used as evidence in court proceedings. Avoid sharing details about your split, financial matters, or anything that could be misconstrued or used against you in the legal process.

Hiring an Austin Contested Divorce Lawyer

The significance of securing a knowledgeable Austin contested divorce lawyer when facing this process cannot be overstressed. A skilled attorney can navigate the complexities of the legal system, advocate for your interests, and strive for the best possible outcome. They can also manage negotiations, represent you in court, and provide the support you need during this challenging time. Choosing the right lawyer is a critical decision that can substantially influence the process and results of your contested divorce in Austin.

A contested divorce in Austin is a demanding process that requires patience, preparation, and the right legal support. Understanding what to expect, following best practices, and securing a competent contested divorce lawyer in Austin are key steps in managing the challenges ahead. Although the journey may be fraught with difficulties, focusing on your long-term goals and well-being, both emotionally and legally, will guide you through to a new beginning. If you’re facing a family lawsuit in Austin, contact the highly skilled family law attorneys at Deyerle Silva Smith, PLLC today!

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See what our clients are saying about their case outcomes. 

"Candice, Ashley, and Laurie are highly professional, strategic, thorough, and above all intelligent. They helped me stay organized (which is no small feat), gracefully pivoted in the face of challenges, and provided emotional clarity in times of distress, even when those challenges and distressful situations were due to missteps by me. In my case, Candice routinely exhibited prescience regarding which matters deserved focus and which matters were distractions, which saved time, and money. Ashley expertly delivered to the court clear, concise, and highly effective summaries of complex topics. More than once, Candice and Ashley noticed and brought to light critical details that easily would have been missed and that had a huge impact. I couldn't say enough about how much this team helped me through my ordeal."
Greg Banister
"Lianna inspired confidence from my first contact with her. Her calming demeanor and good information convinced me to let her handle my divorce, and I believe that was a good decision to this day. She handled my divorce very professionally and respectfully and with favorable results. I can easily recommend Team Lianna for divorce matters."
Neil Sembower
"Incredibly experienced - Produces great results Kody was the best decision I made when choosing legal representation. His experience was invaluable in helping me understand the ramifications of each option and choices available during my divorce proceedings. The professional nature of Kody and his team was evident by their responsiveness and execution. Preparation meant everything as we headed into mediation and I felt supported and empowered by his informed and organized approach. He was sensitive and honest about the cost/benefit of each complex element of our assets/liabilities which led to a successful agreement and avoided costly litigation. Divorce is a major life event that has a long lasting impact on everyone involved. His guidance during this difficult time has made the experience positive for me and has laid a strong framework for my future and my children's future as I move forward."
"Divorce sucks. The issues keep coming years later. No other way to phrase it. My experience with the firm was top notch. I retained the firm for a mediation in an effort to have more visitation with my two young boys. My attorney (Lianna Smith) took my concerns and helped build a plan around what wanted. During all the times of frustration, Lianna would constantly talk me off the ledge and remind me to play the long game. Her paralegal (Laurie Theriot) was always available to answer a question or look up something. Laurie is a jewel!"
Richard Lazo
"Ultimately what needed to get done was done. But throughout the several months I used their service, I had to prompt them to do things. I also caught numerous errors that I feel like they should have caught prior to sending me something to approve. Fortunately I have had experience reviewing legal documents, though I’m definitely not an attorney. When I would send Laurie, the paralegal assigned to me, an email she was very responsive, so that was a good experience. I never had trouble getting ahold of them, I just usually had to prompt the communication and I did not think it was appropriate that I had to point out as many errors in legal documents as I did. If you are not prone to reading everything, proceed with caution."
Michael Bullock
"Knowledgeable, Realistic, Compassionate, & Gets Results When first meeting with Mr. Silva, he asked me, ideally, what I would like to get out of the divorce process and to prioritize them. He walked me thru how the legal process would work and then laid out a strategy to try to reach objectives we had set and agreed upon. Mr. Silva was very knowledgeable of the law and of the Williamson County court system. Mr. Silva and his team were always very responsive whenever I had a question or concern regarding my case. Mr. Silva valued my time and concerns. When is was all said and done, the strategy that Mr. Silva had laid out, worked, and we were able to achieve our top three priorities in the case. I would definitely retain him again in the future if the need ever arose."
"I needed an understanding divorce lawyer to help me complete complicated and detailed divorce. One that had been winding through the process in Washington DC and needed to start over and be re-executed in Texas. Laurie Theriot and her paralegal Candace Deyerle were amazing to work with and so helpful on the detail work. Thanks to the whole thing in helping set me free. I could not recommend them enough."
Victoria G.
"I went through a difficult divorce recently that required experience with LGBTQ issues. Picking Kody for my legal counsel was the best choice I could have made. I knew from the first meeting with Kody that he was completely invested in my case and would give it the attention it would require. He proved to be an exceptional lawyer. He was fair-minded, professional, and realistic at all times, even when my ex-wife’s lawyer was trying to make it extremely difficult to stay civil. He knew when to be firm and unwavering with the opposing counsel, which ultimately resulted in an agreement without having to go to court. Kody and his paralegal, Priscilla, are an excellent team. They were friendly and responsive at all times. The billing of my case was handled in a very prudent and efficient manner. I wouldn't hesitate to hire Kody again in the future."
"Outstanding Job Lianna listen to me and was compassion to my situation. She worked with me and guided me as to what I would be expecting during the whole divorce. She outline detail by detail the steps that were going to be taken. She was always there to answer my concerns and questions. During the mediation she fought all the way to make sure that I got my fair share. Her attention to detail was awesome. I couldn't had asked for a better lawyer than her. I had met with other lawyers before her and they didn't acknowledge the pain I was going through. However, when I met with her she listen and was so understanding toward my pain that I immediately knew she will fight for me."

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