Contested Divorce
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Are You Dealing With a Contested Divorce?

Unfortunately, there are many people inquiring about divorce. They want to know what it involves and how to proceed with one. 

A divorce is a legal action between a married couple to terminate their marital agreement or relationship.

It is less stressful if both parties agreed upon the issues surrounding the divorce. 

However, there may be extenuating circumstances where both parties cannot agree on these particular issues such as child custody and division of marriage assets. 

This type of predicament would warrant a contested divorce

In the case of a contested divorce, the litigation process takes more time to conclude. Furthermore, due to the fact that these parties are unable to come to decisions independently, they are forced to go to court.

The court is obligated to make a final decision on all issues that they did not negotiate. Several procedures will take place to successfully resolve these issues. The first step is for the party to meet with the attorney. Second, a divorce petition will be served upon the spouse.

Next, there is the discovery phase followed by the settlement. The next procedure is the trial with the post- trial motions. The final step is the appeal.

When it comes to facing Divorce, many men believe winning in court is how you win your Divorce - and unfortunately, 90% of those men learn that nothing could be further from the truth.

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During the time spent with the attorney, you will be interviewed thoroughly. Any pertinent documents that pertain to the marital assets, children of the marriage and any other important issues have to be reviewed by the attorney.

The attorney then determines what he/she feels you are entitled to. Your divorce petition is prepared and filed with the court system. Then, of course, that divorce petition is served upon the spouse.

The petition can be served in person, via mail or by a deputy sheriff. In the case that the spouse cannot be located, a notice will be printed in the local newspaper in which you must wait a pre-determined length of time before making forward progress with the divorce proceedings.

Your spouse is required by law to answer to a petition with in thirty days. However, if the spouse does not answer accordingly, the spouse will be in default; therefore granting you a default judgment of divorce.

Perhaps the other party does not default, and then the procedures will proceed to the discovery and settlement phases. Written interrogatories, document request and disposition allows the spouses to get detailed information from one another about marital assets, income, custody and anything else relevant to the case.

Also, during the discovery procedures the spouses are able to ask for temporary orders for child support or alimony from the courts. Judges are apt to encourage the spouses to reach an agreement prior to the final court date.

They may even suggest mediation to resolve the issues. If the spouses are not able to settle, the case will be scheduled for divorced court.

The divorce trial allows for each side to involve witnesses, utilize cross-examination and make closing arguments. After the judge hears both sides at the trial, he/she will make a decision about the facts.

Upon the completion of the trial and the judge has signed the order, either party is entitled to file a trial motion for relief from the final judgment. Each party has 30 days to file and respond to the post-trial motion.

And finally, the appeal is implemented if the post is denied. The appeal must also be filed within 30 days of final judgment or 30 days after post-trial motion has been denied.

If case is reversed, the appellate court will resubmit to trial court for further proceedings. An affirmed case simply means that it is all complete.

There is no guarantee on how long these proceedings will take. There are many steps in a contested divorce and each step is quite complex. A legal contest has its advantages and disadvantages.

During a high-conflict case, you are permitted to obtain restraining orders. Yet, a disadvantage for a contested divorce is that both parties will inevitably become financially and emotionally drained.

Thus, if you and your spouse are able to come to an agreement regarding the major issues of the divorce, you will be able to avoid what can potentially become a lengthy court procedure.


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