Divorce is complicated, however, a contested divorce can be even more so. If you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement on certain aspects of your divorce, it is critical that you have an experienced attorney on your side to guide you through the process of a contested divorce. Here’s what to expect when your divorce becomes contentious and what your next move should be.
Even if your divorce is contested, you can still go through the process of mediation. Mediation is designed to help you and your spouse come to an agreement on the various aspects of your divorce. In the event that you and your spouse don’t agree on each aspect, you can utilize mediation to help reach a compromise.
If you have children or property, you will likely need to have temporary orders issued by the court. Examples of the most common temporary orders that are issued in the beginning of a contested divorce are orders specifying which parent has primary physical custody of the children or who has exclusive use of the marital home. Generally speaking, temporary orders are left in effect until the final divorce decree is in place. Although temporary orders can be changed, they often aren’t because the temporary orders have now become status quo during the divorce process. This is especially true when it comes to child custody and related issues.
Once temporary orders are issued, attorneys for both sides will begin the process of discovery. Information about your finances, assets, and debts will need to come to light in order to obtain a clear picture of where you and your spouse stand. Once all information is available, each party can begin to work towards a settlement. It is often in the best interest of both parties to try to reach a settlement agreement out of court, since a trial is usually lengthy and expensive.
In the event that you and your spouse simply cannot come to an agreement, you will need to pursue litigation. Litigation is truly a last resort and can be very costly and frustrating. If you do have a need for litigation, it is even more critical that you work with an experienced contested divorce attorney in order to protect your rights and seek out the most favorable verdict possible for you.
At the Law Office of Mark Haefner, we have significant experience working with individuals going through a contested divorce and can offer you comprehensive legal representation. We will fight zealously on your behalf at each stage of the process and will provide you with the information you need to make critical decisions about your case and your future. Call today for a consultation at (314) 200-6101.