20 Years of Experience
A Contested Divorce arises when one party to the marriage does not want a divorce, or the parties are unable to agree on the terms of the divorce. Typically one party will retain an attorney and start the process by filing the divorce case with the clerk, and then serve the other party with divorce papers. The party that was served will then have twenty days to retain attorney and answer the papers. The parties and their respective attorneys will then appear in court to try and work out a global settlement that resolves all of the issues.
A contested divorce may or may not require formal discovery and the use of expert witnesses. A contested divorce may result in a trial if the parties cannot agree on certain issues, and there may be motions brought and heard by the Court before trial. While a contested divorce can be the most expensive and time consuming type of divorce, there are many times when it is truly the only good option for a client.
Before ever going to court, the facts of your case will need to be understood, as well as the law that applies to your case. Most of the time, the law that applies is straightforward, however, sometimes a novel legal issues can arise and legal research may have to be done to understand how the law applies to the facts of your case.
Another important part of pre-trial preparation is ensuring that you and the other witnesses that will be called to testify on your behalf are prepared, and that preparation is done to cross examine your spouse and any witnesses that are called by your spouses attorney.
If a trial is necessary to resolve your case, it will usually be limited in scope to the issues that could not be resolved during settlement negotiations. On the day of trial, each party will have the right to call witnesses and present evidence. The court will then make a decision.