Two types of divorce can be filed when you are ready to dissolve your marriage: contested divorce and an uncontested divorce. You really don’t pick and choose which type of divorce you will file. If you, and your spouse, agree to everything in the divorce, you have a simple uncontested divorce. However, if both parties are unable to come to terms on all aspects of that divorce you have a contested divorce.
The contested divorce process is much more time-consuming and difficult than an uncontested divorce. It is likely that a lawyer will be needed to handle the proceedings of a contested divorce. When you are unable to agree upon all aspects of the divorce, the case goes before a judge who then makes the decisions in the matter. Oftentimes lawyers lawyer negotiate on the behalf of each party, and a settlement is reached before the matter reaches a judge.
Numerous steps are involved with a contested divorce. Those steps include:
- Prepare a divorce petition and serve that petition on your spouse. The spouse must then respond to the petition.
- Gather information that can be used in your case. This can be paperwork, third-party witnesses, etc.
- Go through pre-trial motions as well as legal hearings.
- Negotiations between attorney’s takes place.
- If a settlement is unable to be reached after attorney negotiation, a trial date is set for the case.
- You will need to prepare for the trial.
- Complete the trial, which can include cross examination from your spouse’s lawyer.
- If you do not agree with the order of the judge, you may then file an appeal of the matter.
A contested divorce can be a very complex situation that requires legal expertise to handle properly. Always talk to a lawyer to learn the right way to handle your divorce case.
For more info on contested divorces contact me!