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Find Contested Divorce Lawyer

Contested Divorce

Many divorces end amicably, with both parties agreeing that separation is best and working cooperatively through the divorce process. Some divorces are not so friendly. A contested divorce is any divorce where the former spouses are unable to come to an agreement about one or more aspects of the divorce. Contested divorces are longer, more stressful, and more costly than a typical divorce.


A Battle of Wills and Resources

Contested divorces cover a range of issues and likewise have a range of resolutions. When a divorce becomes contested it is important to focus in on what issues are the most important and what resolution method would be most appropriate to move forward with the divorce.

Contested Divorce Issues

As with many things in life, it is unlikely that someone in a contested divorce will get everything they want. Instead, it will become necessary to pick which areas of the divorce are most important an stake claims in those key issues. Some common issues that are particularly important in a contested divorce are:

- Alimony payments
- Asset division
- Child support
- Custody of children

Typically choosing one or two issues to remain firm on will be better than being universally obstinate as a willingness to compromise on some issues may make a judge look more favorably on allowing greater gains on other issues. For example, if child custody is a top priority, it may be necessary to make reasonable concessions regarding the division of assets and payment of alimony.

Contested Divorce Resolutions

There are many ways to resolve a contested divorce and most are not mandatory. What is important is that both parties agree to be bound by the outcome of the decision method. In theory, as long as both parties agreed to it, the contested issues could be decided by coin flip. Most contested divorces will pursue mediation, arbitration, and judicial review.

Mediation and arbitration are legally binding negotiation processes where an appointed individual acts as a neutral third party in trying to resolve the contested issues. Mediators and arbiters can be anyone as long as both parties agree to their appointment. While they do not have the power to force a resolution, arbiters and mediators can serve as valuable instruments to dislodge issues that have become gridlocked.

If no agreement can be reached through mediation or arbitration, the issue will go before a judge. The judge will hear both sides’ best arguments and rule based on their belief. Unlike mediators and arbitrators, a judge has absolute power to decide issues and can enforce their decisions through any legal means. This most often shows up as legal orders or the use of law enforcement.

Fighting to Protect Your Interests

Contested divorces can quickly become battles of attrition, with both sides filing endless motions, appeals, and renegotiations in order to wear down the other side. In order to ensure that your interests are protected during a contested divorce you will need the help of an experienced family law attorney. An experienced family law attorney will be able to use their experience, legal skills, and shrewd negotiating abilities to decisively argue your case before judges and mediators in order to expedite the divorce process and deliver the results you want.

In order to achieve this best outcome, however, you will need an attorney who has the expertise and resources to take your case all the way. That’s why you should contact Attorney at Law. By partnering with AAL, you will be able to avoid slogging through the quagmire of unscrupulous lawyers looking to exploit your case.

At AAL, we only partner with the best firms in your area, helping you find the best attorney for your case. Don’t wait, contact AAL today for a free no-obligation consultation and begin your journey to justice.

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Contested Divorce Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a contested divorce?

A contested divorce is a legal separation proceeding in which one or more issue is being argued over. Issues that may cause a contested divorce include child custody, alimony amount, visitation privileges, asset division, or child support. 

2. How long do contested divorces take?

How long a contested divorce takes to resolve depends on several factors. If both parties are willing to compromise on the issues being contested, then the divorce could take a few months. However, if neither party is willing to concede any ground, the contested divorce could take years to finalize as each issue is exhaustively litigated through either mediation or court decisions.

3. How much does a contested divorce cost?

A contested divorce can cost thousands to tens of thousands of dollars. The factors that impact the costs of a contested divorce include court fees, attorney’s costs, filing fees, and mediation fees. The longer a contested divorce goes on for, the more costly it will be for all parties involved.

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