This Article Understanding the Steps in a Contested Divorce is written by Naphtal.
Introduction to understanding the Steps in a Contested Divorce
Almost every country in the world has formulated extensive laws governing the realms of marriage. Countless regulations lay out the specific procedures that must be undertaken for a marriage to be considered legal.
The majority of these laws are uncontroversial. These simply exist to ensure that both parties involved are willing participants, above a certain age, and not closely related.
However, in some cases, the validity of a marriage can be called into question. In these instances, couples may choose to divorce through the court system, in what is known as a contested divorce.
A contested divorce occurs when the husband and wife cannot agree on key issues related to their marriage. Such as child custody, spousal support, or property division.
This blog post outlines the steps involved in a contested divorce, from filing the initial petition to finalizing the divorce decree.
What Is a Contested Marriage?
Before we can discuss the steps of a contested divorce, it is essential to first understand what is meant by a “contested marriage.”
A contested marriage is generally one in which the husband and wife cannot agree on key issues related to their relationship. This can include child custody, spousal support, and property division.
In some cases, a contested divorce may also involve allegations of fault, such as infidelity or abuse.
Steps in a Contested Divorce
Now that you understand what a contested divorce is, let’s look at the steps involved in this type of divorce proceeding.
1. Meeting the Attorney
The first thing you need to do when seeking a contested divorce is to find an experienced family law attorney.
Your attorney will be responsible for representing you in court. He/she will help to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the divorce process.
Additionally, your lawyer can provide you with valuable advice on how to best approach your divorce, given the unique circumstances of your case.
On your first meeting, your attorney will ask you to provide them with a detailed account of your marriage. It includes information on any previous attempts at reconciliation.
You should also be prepared to discuss the specific issues that you would like to have addressed in your divorce. Issues such as child custody, spousal support, and property division.
2. Filing the Petition
Once you have selected an attorney, the next step is to file a petition for divorce with the court. In most states, one spouse must be a resident of the state where they file for divorce.
The petition will generally include basic information about the marriage, such as the names and addresses of the parties involved, as well as the date of the marriage.
Additionally, the petition will state the specific grounds on which the divorce is being sought.
The most common grounds for divorce are “irreconcilable differences,”. It simply means that the marriage has irretrievably broken down and there is no hope for reconciliation.
In some states, couples may also seek a divorce for “mental cruelty” or “physical abuse.”
Once the petition has been filed, it must be served on the other spouse, along with a summons to appear in court. This can be done by the sheriff’s department or a professional process server.
3. The Response
Once the petition has been served, the other spouse has the opportunity to file a response.
In most cases, the response will be an acknowledgement that the divorce proceedings have been received and that the other spouse agrees to proceed with the divorce.
In some cases, however, the other spouse may contest the divorce, meaning they do not agree to the terms outlined in the petition.
If this is the case, the divorce will proceed to the next stage, known as discovery.
The discovery process is designed to allow both sides in a divorce to obtain information from the other party that may be relevant to the case.
This can include financial information, such as tax returns and bank statements, as well as information about any assets or debts that either party may have.
Also, discovery may involve depositions, which are sworn statements given under oath.
Depositions can be taken from the parties involved in the divorce, as well as from any witnesses who may have relevant information.
The discovery process can be both time-consuming and expensive, which is why it is often one of the most contentious parts of a contested divorce.
Once discovery is complete, the next step is to begin negotiations between the two sides.
In many cases, the divorcing parties can reach an agreement on all of the issues involved in the divorce, such as child custody, spousal support, and property division.
If an agreement can be reached, the divorce will then be able to proceed to the next stage, which is known as settlement.
If the parties can agree on all of the issues involved in the divorce, they will proceed to the settlement stage.
At this point, the terms of the agreement will be put into writing and signed by both parties.
Once the agreement has been signed, it will then be submitted to the court for approval.
If the court approves the settlement agreement, it will be converted into a divorce decree, officially ending the marriage.
If the parties cannot agree on all of the issues involved in the divorce, the case will proceed to trial.
At trial, both sides will present their evidence and arguments to a judge, who will then make a decision on the issues in dispute.
The judge’s decision will be based on the law as well as the facts of the case. Once the judge has decided, it will be converted into a divorce decree, officially ending the marriage.
Divorce is a complicated legal process that can be both emotionally and financially draining.
If you are considering getting divorced, it is crucial to seek out the advice of an experienced divorce attorney who can help you navigate the process and protect your rights.
Thank you for reading! We hope this article has been helpful in providing you with an overview of the divorce process. If you have any further questions, please feel free to reach out to us. We are always happy to help!
Also Read: CONTESTED DIVORCE IN INDIA