What is a Contested Divorce? - Aaron Delgado & Associates

What is a Contested Divorce?

by Aaron Delgado
03/01/22 (Updated: 04/01/22)

Nobody enters into a marriage thinking that they are going to get divorced; however, you and your spouse may decide that it is better to part ways. There are a lot of moving parts if you decide to get a divorce, and it is important for you to make sure your rights are protected during the process.

One of the first decisions you need to make is whether you are going with a contested or uncontested divorce. What are the differences between them, and what should you do if you have a contested divorce? Take a look at a few important points below.

Comparing a Contested Versus an Uncontested Divorce

In the state of Florida, there are two types of divorces. The first is called an uncontested divorce. In this case, both spouses agree on all issues related to the divorce. This includes the division of marital property, the division of marital debts, and any spousal support.

If you have children involved, you may not be able to go through an uncontested divorce even if you and your spouse agree on how to raise the children moving forward. Things are simply more complicated when there are children involved, and you should always work with a lawyer, regardless of the type of divorce you are getting.

The other type of divorce is a contested divorce. If you cannot agree on everything, you are facing a contested divorce. Even if you can agree on everything except one issue, you are still going through a contested divorce. A contested divorce could end up in court, and you might ask for a judge to decide how to resolve these issues If you disagree on anything, you have a contested divorce. So, what does this mean?

The Implications of a Contested Divorce

First, a contested divorce usually takes longer. You may have to go to court multiple times before the case is resolved, and it may take longer for your attorneys to develop an agreement that everyone can be happy with. In some situations, you might ask the judge to make final decisions, and the court system is backed up.

During this process, your attorney may have to hire expert witnesses, reach out to financial consultants, and get certain pieces of property appraised. That way, it will be easier to divide everything fairly. As a result of these added steps, it may take longer to reach a resolution.

The Steps Involved in a Contested Divorce

Next, it is important to take a look at a few steps you need to follow to resolve a contested divorce. In a contested divorce, one or both spouses dispute one or more aspects of the divorce. There are several steps you need to follow to get the ball rolling. They include:

  • The first step is to hire an attorney. There are plenty of attorneys available, but you need to hire someone who has experience dealing with divorces. That way, you have a legal expert on your side who can make sure your rights are protected.
  • One spouse has to prepare, file, and serve the divorce petition. Essentially, this is legal paperwork that asks for the marriage to be dissolved.
  • The other spouse needs to respond to the petition. The spouse will have to go through the petition line by line and either agree or dispute the statements in that petition.
  • After this, there will be a variety of pretrial motions and hearings. Your lawyer will walk you through the process. You may not have to go to all of them, but it is important for you to stay up-to-date on what is happening.
  • As the legal process moves forward, your attorney is going to file divorce discovery motions. This is important for having all the information you need to decide how to move forward.
  • Furthermore, your attorney and your spouse's attorney will try to reach a settlement that is fair and reasonable for everyone. Sometimes, this is possible. In other cases, the divorce goes to trial.
  • If you decide to take the case to trial, your attorney will walk you through the process. He or she will explain exactly what happens at trial, making sure your case is put in the best position possible to achieve a reasonable outcome.

Importantly, not every contested divorce will go to trial. You need to work with your attorney to make sure you are on the same page. That way, your attorney is working toward a goal it is satisfactory to you.

How Long Does the Process Take?

So, how long does a contested divorce take? In general, it takes longer than an uncontested divorce because there are more steps that have to be completed. In some cases, a contested divorce can be resolved in a matter of a few months. In other cases, the entire process may take more than a year from start to finish. The more you and your spouse cannot agree on, and the more decisions there are to make, the longer the process will take. Your attorney should keep you in the loop as the process unfolds.

How Can I Make Sure The Case Is Resolved in My Favor?

It is impossible to predict the exact outcome of a contested divorce in Florida. A few of the most important tips you should follow include:

  • Make sure you reach out to an attorney as early as possible in the process. That way, you have more time to prepare.
  • Write everything down. Try to save as many documents as possible. This will make it easier to divide assets and debt.
  • Make sure you ask any and all questions you have. There's no such thing as a dumb question, and you need to have as much information as possible to make the right decisions.

We can work with you during this process. Count on us to help you.

Contact Aaron Delgado and Associates for Help With a Contested Divorce in Florida

If you are going through a contested divorce in Florida, it is important for you to make sure you have a legal expert on your side. That is where we can assist you. At Aaron Delgado and Associates, we always put the needs of our clients first.

We have worked with clients of all backgrounds as they go through the divorce process, and it would be our pleasure to use our experience to help you. We understand you have a lot on your plate, and we want to make the process as smooth as possible for you. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you with your case.

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