What Is A Contested Divorce?
A contested divorce is when couples aren’t in agreement on one or more issues surrounding the end of their marriage. This form of divorce can last for a prolonged period depending on the nature of each dispute and the agreeableness of each spouse. Examples of common issues include:
- Division of property and debt
- Child support
- Spousal support (alimony)
- Visitation and custody of children
In many cases, there will not be a disagreement on every marital issue and couples can elect to bring only certain disputes in front of a judge. In all cases of divorce, couples can still seek to resolve issues outside of the courtroom. Agreeing on even a few subjects can save both parties the time, money, and stress associated with battling in court. A divorce can be an intensely emotional event and spouses are not always able to resolve issues outside of the courtroom. When methods such as uncontested divorce and mediation have failed, a contested divorce may be the only available option. At the Gill Law Group, PC, we understand that nobody wants a drawn-out and costly divorce. Our Orange County contested divorce attorneys will do everything in their power to help this process go as smoothly and quickly as possible.
Trials For Individual Issues
In some cases, spouses can request a separate trial for an individual dispute. This process is also known as “bifurcation” and can be a helpful tool when there are only one or two points of contention keeping a divorce from finalization. Requests for a separate trial are not granted automatically and you must convince a judge that doing so is justifiable. Our firm can review these requests with you to maximize the likelihood of their approval.
What Is The Contested Divorce Process?
In a contested divorce, you must go through the following steps:
- Preparing, filing and serving the divorce petition to your spouse
- Go through the divorce “discovery” process in which you and your attorney gather information for use in the divorce proceedings
- Submit legal motions and take part in pre-trial hearings
- Engage in settlement proposals and negotiations with the help of your attorney
- Preparing for trial
- Going to trial and receiving the judge’s final decision
- If you disagree with the judge’s final ruling you may submit an appeal disputing the decision
How Long Do Contested Divorces Take?
The soonest a divorce can legally be finalized in California is six months, however, in cases of a contested divorce, proceedings typically last longer. At any point, if both parties can resolve all issues and reach a settlement, the agreement can be reviewed by a judge and the divorce can be finalized. While it is never easy to predict the time frame for marriage dissolution, an experienced attorney can help to ensure that proceedings go as smoothly as possible. Our team can help you to spot and prepare for possible complications as they arise. Each person who goes through a divorce has a unique story and at the Gill Law Group, PC, we will take the time to listen to and understand yours. At our firm, we provide clear, straightforward legal advocacy to let our clients know where they stand during this confusing and frustrating time. No matter the complexity of your divorce, our contested divorce lawyers will work tirelessly to ensure that your interests are protected at the time when you need it most.
Schedule a complimentary case evaluation today and learn about how our firm can help you.