Despite your best efforts, you may be facing significant disputes during the breakdown of your marriage. To protect yourself and your rights during this time, go into the dissolution with the help of a seasoned divorce attorney.
Countless factors can lead to disputes at the end of the marriage, with disagreements over financial issues or custody of minor children as the most common examples. Fortunately, a Chattanooga contested divorce lawyer could assist you with resolving any of these disputes.
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 Chattanooga attorney could help an individual spouse use this information to back up their objections.
Put simply, “contested divorce” means there are disputes that cannot be resolved amicably by the two parties. Often, these disputes are rooted in the fact that both sides disagree on the cause of the breakdown of the marriage.
Traditionally, the cause of the divorce was an important part of these proceedings. However, under current law, it is possible to move forward with a divorce case without dispute over who was at fault. A well-versed attorney is available to assist Chattanooga parties with a contested divorce on either fault or no-fault grounds.
There was a time when the courts would only grant a divorce based on fault grounds. In other words, a judge would not have the power to dissolve a marriage unless the spouse that filed the petition could show that the other spouse was to blame for the breakdown in the relationship.
Fault divorces can be costly, as it requires evidence of wrongdoing by a spouse. In these cases, contested divorces can drag out for months while the disputes are resolved. Some of the fault crowds commonly used include:
It is typically easier to meet the burden of proof for no-fault divorces. For that reason, most couples seeking to dissolve their marriage do so on no-fault grounds.
Instead of proving the other spouse was the cause of the breakup, the process is much simpler. The spouses need only to establish that the split was due to irreconcilable differences.
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 contested divorce lawyers in order to resolve the disagreements, so it is important for each party to engage a skilled legal advocate in Chattanooga.
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 member of the firm knows 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.