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Contested Divorce

In some divorces, two partners have difficult agreeing on critical details of the divorce, such as child custody and property division. Sometimes these disagreements can become extremely heated. While not all divorces are like this, many are. These difficult separations are known as “contested divorces.”

Contested Property in a Divorce

Contested divorces are extremely difficult to resolve without the assistance of appropriate legal representation. When you and a spouse can’t agree on how to divide assets such as homes, real estate, savings accounts, retirement plans, and other valuable pieces of property, representing yourself can be extremely risky. There are many deadlines to worry about in a divorce proceeding, and unknowingly breaking one of these deadlines can result in you losing all legal right to money or other assets.

A divorce attorney can examine your situation, make sure that you don’t overlook important legal paperwork or deadlines, and help you determine what legal rights and options you have, as well as what rights your spouse has (trying to make demands which breach the legal rights that your spouse has is a good way to spend a lot of time and money in court, as well as incline a judge to not look on you in a favorable light). Additionally, courts can order one party to pay spousal support to their former spouse. An attorney can help you determine who much to expect to have to pay (or what you can hope to receive).

Determining Child Custody in a Contested Divorce

Much of the responsibility for determining child custody arrangements falls on the parents. However, in situations where parents can’t come to an agreement, courts can step in. In these circumstances, a family court is tasked with protecting the best interests of the children.

This means that courts will analyze a number of factors, including:

  • The parents’ respective physical and mental health;
  • The ability of each parent to provide their offspring with adequate shelter, food, clothing, medical care, and other practical needs;
  • The ability of each parent to emotionally nurture their children;
  • The children’s ages, health, and bond with each parent;
  • Where each parent intends to live, and how this will impact children’s previously established daily living patterns, such as going to school, relationships with friends and other family members, extracurricular activities, and so on;
  • In instances where children are of a certain age or have the appropriate emotional maturity level, courts will also consider the children’s personal preferences.

By working with an attorney, a parent in a contested divorce can learn how best to present their case to the court in order to have the best chance of success in court. Additionally, courts have the power to order one parent of a child or children to pay child support to the parent with custody, so even in a situation where a parent doesn’t want custody, or doesn’t wish to obtain custody, working with a family law attorney can help attain a legal decision that meets the needs and interests of both parents and their children.

Finding Closure in Contested Divorces with the Assistance of a Divorce Attorney

Divorces are extremely stressful. But even if there are key aspects on which you and your spouse can’t come to agreement, a divorce attorney can help you resolve the areas of your divorce which can be settled. Even if you are still hashing out the details of child custody, a divorce attorney can help you find closure in the end of your personal relationship with your spouse. And having a divorce attorney takes away much of the stress of knowing what you need to do, what to focus on, and what your rights are.

If you’re currently involved in a divorce proceeding, and you’re not sure what to do next, contact the experienced family law attorneys at Toeppen & Grevious. We can help you develop a better understanding of your current legal situation, and ultimately help you find the closure that you need to move on in a positive way.