A contested divorce means that the two parties have fundamental disagreements about key aspects of their divorce. This form of marriage dissolution is much more complicated than an uncontested divorce, where the parties have an agreement on the front end and need an attorney to draft the appropriate paperwork. Contesting a divorce can be costly and time-consuming, and it usually requires professional assistance. If you and your former partner cannot settle on a divorce agreement, you may require the help of a Chattanooga contested divorce lawyer.
There are several factors that can create the need for a contested divorce. Custody and visitation issues regarding the couple’s children often lead to disputes during the legal proceedings, as well as disagreements over finances and property division. The need for alimony and child support, and how much the payor should give, can also lead to arguments.
Contested divorces are more complicated than uncontested divorces because they take more time to complete. The parties often have their own sides of the story, and it can be hard to find a compromise in the midst of a heated situation. Presenting the appropriate evidence and gathering all of the necessary documentation can be crucial in contested divorce cases, and a local attorney could help an individual spouse use this information to back up their objections.
The first step in a contested divorce is to file the case, which alerts the court of the situation. Once the divorce is filed, the non-filing party must be served with a complaint for divorce, and they then have 30 days to respond to the complaint.
The next step is for both parties to undergo the mediation process. If the case cannot be resolved at mediation, there will be a hearing, and several different steps could happen in the interim. There may be a discovery process, in which the parties would have to answer questions under oath and provide documents or depositions. There may also be a motion filing process if there are problems that need to be resolved by entering a temporary parenting plan, temporary spousal support, or child support. All of these issues are often addressed in between the initial divorce filing and the final hearing.
The most notable difference in the contested divorce process is the significant work required to solve the couple’s problems throughout the course of the case. There will likely be far more time and energy spent on the part of the two spouses and their divorce lawyers in order to resolve the disagreements, so it is important for each party to engage a skilled legal advocate in the area.
If the parties are able to come to an agreement at the end of the contested divorce process, their lawyer will need to draft an official contract, have the parties sign it, and present it to the court. In a contested divorce, lawyers must formulate strategies, create arguments, and prepare for hearings, which can make the process complex.
An experienced Chattanooga contested divorce lawyer could work to resolve the problems that arise during your contested divorce by advising you on how to best navigate the legal proceedings. A seasoned attorney could know what local judges take into consideration during these cases and could present your case and its evidence to the court in a way that is admissible and organized. Call today to schedule a consultation and learn more about your options.