New Braunfels,TX 78130,USA

Navigating Divorce in New Braunfels, Texas: Can a Spouse Refuse?

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Divorce is a complex and emotionally charged process that can be further complicated when one spouse is unwilling to proceed. In the picturesque town of New Braunfels, Texas, where the Guadalupe and Comal Rivers meet, the legal landscape surrounding divorce may differ from other jurisdictions. In this article, we’ll explore the nuances of divorce law in New Braunfels and examine whether a spouse can refuse a divorce.

Grounds for Divorce in Texas:

Texas is a “no-fault” divorce state, which means that a spouse seeking a divorce doesn’t have to prove fault or wrongdoing by the other party. The most common ground for divorce is “insupportability,” which essentially means that the marriage has become insupportable due to discord or conflict of personalities, preventing any reasonable expectation of reconciliation. This no-fault provision makes it generally easier to obtain a divorce without placing blame on one spouse.

Initiating the Divorce Process:

In New Braunfels, as in the rest of Texas, the divorce process is initiated by filing a petition for divorce with the appropriate county court. Once the petition is filed, the other spouse, known as the respondent, must be officially served with the divorce papers. The respondent then has a specific period to respond, usually within 20 days. This initial response period does not necessarily indicate an agreement to the divorce but is rather an opportunity for the respondent to contest certain terms or issues raised in the petition.

Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce:

A divorce is considered uncontested when both spouses agree on all terms, including property division, child custody, support, and alimony. In such cases, the divorce can proceed more swiftly and with less contention. However, if the spouses cannot reach an agreement on these issues, the divorce is classified as contested. It is during a contested divorce that a spouse may express refusal or contest specific terms.

Refusal to Sign:

While a spouse cannot outright refuse a divorce, they can contest specific terms or delay the process. Texas law does not require both spouses to sign the divorce papers for the divorce to be granted. If the respondent refuses to sign, the petitioner can proceed with the divorce through a default judgment. In such cases, the court may grant the divorce based on the petitioner’s assertions, especially if the respondent fails to respond within the allotted time.

Legal Implications of Contesting:

Contesting a divorce can have legal and financial implications for both parties. If the contested issues involve property division, child custody, or support, the court may need to intervene and make decisions on these matters. This often results in increased legal fees and a more protracted divorce process.

Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution:

To avoid the costs and stress associated with a contested divorce, spouses in New Braunfels may explore alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation. Mediation involves a neutral third party helping the spouses negotiate and reach agreements on contested issues. It can be a more amicable and cost-effective way to resolve disputes compared to going to court.


In New Braunfels, Texas, a spouse cannot outright refuse a divorce, as the state operates under no-fault divorce laws. However, they can contest specific terms, leading to a contested divorce with potential legal and financial consequences. Understanding the divorce process, seeking alternative dispute resolution methods, and consulting with legal professionals can help spouses navigate the complexities of divorce in New Braunfels.