Contested Divorce 101
A contested divorce is a difficult way to end a marriage. It’s also costly and time consuming for everyone involved. However, sometimes a contested divorce is unavoidable. Here’s what you need to know if you or your ex-spouse contests the divorce and how to get the legal help you need.
The Court Doesn’t Look to Place Blame
Many years ago, there had to be “grounds” for divorce, like adultery or abandonment. One party had to be “to blame” for the dissolution of the marriage. However, that is not the case anymore. Most people cite “irreconcilable differences” as their reasoning for divorce, meaning that neither party is to blame. Even in a contested divorce, it’s not necessary to find out who is “at fault” for the split.
Usually, the Matters Within the Divorce Are Contested
In most cases, the divorce itself is not contested. This typically only happens when one spouse wants a divorce and the other wants to continue the marriage. However, this is infrequently seen in California courts. The issues within the divorce are most likely to become contested, such as property division, alimony/spousal support, and child custody and visitation.
When Should You Contest Your Divorce?
While it’s generally in a couple’s best interest to look for ways to resolve divorce issues in a non-confrontational manner, sometimes, you may need to contest an issue in the best interests of your family. If you disagree with the divorce itself, if your spouse has offered a property division solution that is unfair to you, or your spouse has petitioned for full custody of your children and you wish to share custody or feel that you should have custody, you will likely need to move forward with a contested divorce.
How to Handle a Contested Divorce
Whether you’re the one contesting the divorce or an issue within the divorce — or it’s your soon-to-be ex-spouse that is doing so — it’s critical that you prepare as much as you can for the process that is to come. While divorce isn’t easy, a contested divorce is significantly more challenging — both financially and emotionally. It’s crucial that you have a seasoned lawyer on your side to guide you through the upcoming challenges.
Contact the Law Office of Barbara E. McNamara today to learn more about how to navigate the obstacles of a contested divorce by calling (714) 740-2542.
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