What to Expect During a Contested Divorce
The average couple hopes to have a mutually beneficial uncontested divorce. In this situation, both parties are able to agree on all major issues, or are able to reach an understanding on difficult topics without intervention. Uncontested divorces are usually easier for all parties involved and require less financial resources since a lawyer typically has less work to do. Unfortunately, it is not unusual for a divorce to turn into one that is contested, and when that happens. knowing what to expect during a contested divorce can make the situation less stressful.
Understanding Contested Divorce
A contested divorce occurs when the parties involved are not able to agree to the major items that are required to finalize a divorce decree. These items can include finances, children, or other issues. In some cases, a couple is able to agree on the majority of issues, but is at a stalemate regarding one crucial issue. During a divorce proceeding if the parties cannot come to an agreement on every single issue then the case cannot move forward. It is not unheard of for a couple to end up in a dispute regarding only one issue while remaining amicable regarding everything else.
Custody Issues and Time Sharing
Parenting time is one of the most common reasons for a divorce to become contested. Both parents want to have an active role in raising any children of the relationship and an inability to agree on custody or parenting time can lead to a major dispute. During the initial divorce process a judge may grant temporary custody to the parent who already has physical custody of the children in order to avoid further disruption to the life of the children involved. The parents will then have to come to an agreement through their attorneys and if they are unable to agree on a custody arrangement, mediation may be necessary. In some cases a judge is forced to make a final decision regarding what is best for the child.
Finances and Property
The disposition of property, debts, and assets are also a common cause of contested divorces. Couples who own property jointly, have amassed certain sums of money, or who have acquired debt together want to be sure their post marital finances are stable. Neither party will want to agree to any arrangement that leaves them with too little money or too much debt. Couples will use their attorneys to investigate their spouse’s finances to be sure that all information is disclosed. Personal lives along with finances are investigated by professionals to ensure each spouse can present a complete case when they go before a judge or mediator.
Contact an Attorney
Sandra Bonfiglio is a compassionate family law attorney who is able to provide you with the professional guidance that you need. If you or someone you know is going through a divorce, contact Sandra Bonfiglio for a free consultation. She is a skilled divorce attorney who is able to discuss your unique situation and help you decide how to proceed with your contested divorce case. Contact her today in Fort Lauderdale for help.