Contested divorces occur when a couple does not agree on every issue they must resolve before divorcing. Sometimes the spouses cannot agree on several key issues, and other times there is just one thing that holds up the divorce.
If your divorce is contested, seek help from an experienced matrimonial attorney. A contested divorce does not have to be contentious, but it could be. Having a knowledgeable professional representing you could ensure you know what to expect and do not get rattled as the process unfolds.
A Red Bank contested divorce lawyer has the negotiating savvy to resolve many contested divorces before they go to trial. However, if you must present your conflict to a judge, they could provide stellar and persuasive courtroom representation.
A couple choosing to divorce must cite a legal reason, or ground, for the divorce. The state of Tennessee offers many grounds for a divorce, though, couples sometimes disagree on which ground to choose.
A couple could select a no-fault ground, declaring irreconcilable differences. This ground simply means that the couple is no longer compatible and cannot make their marriage work. It does not assign fault to either spouse. If the couple has lived separately for two years and has no children, the separation could serve as a no-fault ground for divorce. Couples can cite no-fault grounds even in a contested divorce.
Fault-based grounds assign blame to a party. There are ten fault-based grounds in Tennessee, including:
A spouse who claims a fault-based ground for divorce must prove the other spouse engaged in the alleged conduct, which often increases the stress and acrimony between the couple. A practiced Red Bank contested divorce attorney usually recommends a couple choose no-fault grounds as their legal reason for divorce.
Divorcing can be complicated, especially if the couple has significant assets or shares children. Couples must file a contested divorce if they cannot agree on one or more of the following issu aes:
Tennessee Code Annotated § 36-4-121c requires couples in this state to divide their marital property equitably, considering everything each spouse contributed to the marriage. Deciding which property is marital property subject to division and which is personal property the other spouse has no right to can be surprisingly complicated. Issues around property division often force a contested divorce.
Alimony is not mandatory in Tennessee, but if one spouse can demonstrate a need and the other spouse can continue providing financial support after a divorce, a judge might award it.
Divorcing parents must make specific arrangements for their children regarding where they will live, how must time the children will spend with the non-residential parent, who will provide transportation to school or activities, and various other factors. This document is called a parenting plan, and a couple must agree on the parenting plan, or a judge will impose one when they issue the divorce decree.
Children have a right to both their parents’ financial support. The residential parent provides support by providing for their day-to-day needs, and the non-residential parent contributes money that they pay to the residential parent. Like most states, this state determines minimum child support payments by formula. Parents cannot waive child support, even if the residential parent does not need it and the non-residential parent has difficulty paying it.
Just because a spouse files for a contested divorce does not mean the couple will face a divorce trial in a Red Bank court. The process leading up to the trial offers opportunities for the couple to solve their disagreements. Avoiding a trial is almost always the most desirable outcome. Leaving decisions on intimate family matters to a judge could mean neither spouse is happy with the result.
A dedicated contested divorce lawyer in Red Bank could take the time to thoroughly understand a spouse’s goals and what they desire in terms of property and access to the children. Armed with that knowledge, a capable legal professional could negotiate with the other party’s attorney to reach agreements.
When the attorneys cannot reach an acceptable resolution, the judge might order the spouses to work with a mediator. Many couples find negotiating with the assistance of a neutral third party helpful, and mediation often results in agreements that prevent a trial.
When emotions are high, it can be impossible for a couple to resolve some of the issues they must settle before divorcing. Filing for a contested divorce and working with skilled attorneys can help a couple achieve their divorce without needing a trial. However, if a spouse is unwilling to make reasonable compromises, a Red Bank contested divorce lawyer is always willing and prepared to take a divorce case to trial.
Do not try to navigate a contested divorce without competent legal advice. Reach out today to speak with a committed attorney.