When your divorce must be decided and resolved by the Court system, the process can be complicated by heated emotions and financial turmoil. Your family law attorney will guide you through this contested divorce process in an efficient manner by removing as much of the legal stress from your shoulders as possible.
One meaning of a contested divorce describes a divorce where you and your spouse cannot agree on any issue to resolve your proceedings. For example, you may disagree about the division of property, valuation of assets, or who should assume marital liabilities. You might also disagree on child custody issues such as how much time the children should spend with your spouse, or who should make educational or medical decisions for your children. You could even disagree about alimony and support issues or who ultimately should pay the attorney’s fees and costs of your divorce.
Another meaning of a contested divorce describes a divorce in which you and your spouse were unable to come to agreements resolving all of the issues unique to your family without the assistance of an attorney. Through the assistance of an attorney and possibly a mediator, your divorce can resolve amicably. Most divorce cases are considered “contested.”
If you cannot resolve your divorce issues in mediation or through settlement negotiations between you and your spouse, you will attend trial. Trials are usually set for half or full days at a time, and if your matter requires more than one (1) day, your attorney and the judge will attempt to set the trial days back-to-back. Once the judge has heard all of the evidence, he/she will make his/her ruling which will be reduced to an Order. Once the judge signs the Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage, you are divorced, and your matter is concluded. Fortunately for most families, this is not typical and it is likely your “contested” divorce will resolve during the mediation process.