Contested Divorces

A contested divorce is filed when both spouses are unable to reach a joint agreement on aspects of the divorce; which can direct the divorce proceedings to litigation for a judge to make a ruling. This process takes much longer to be finalized as both parties must present their case in the presence of the court and incur increased legal fees due to litigation. This process can be very complex and time-consuming as depending on the length of the marriage, the division of accumulated assets and debt and the decision on a timesharing schedule, child support calculations, and related issues regarding health insurance and tax dependency exemptions. This is the opposite of an uncontested divorce which is fast and has a lower overall cost.

Some of the issues that usually need to be resolved in the court are:

  • Parental responsibility and Parenting Plans
  • Amount of child support and duration, if any
  • Amount of alimony to be paid to spouse and duration, if any
  • Equitable division of assets and property
  • Equitable division of debt
  • Determination as to who is responsible for attorney’s fees

While going through this process a couple will have to go through multiple steps in the court to obtain a final determination, these include:

  • One spouse must prepare, file and deliver the petition for divorce
  • The other spouse will respond to the petition for divorce and may prepare/file a counter-petition
  • Interviewing and hiring attorneys (each spouse should have their own attorney)
  • Divorce discovery – this involves gathering significant financial information from the spouse and third party sources
  • Private vs Courthouse Mediation
    • Parties combined gross income $100,000 and under qualify for courthouse mediation.
    • Parties combined gross income over $100,000 require private mediation. Costs of private mediation are usually shared by the parties.
  • Pre-trial legal motions and hearings
  • Proposal of settlement and negotiations between attorneys
  • In the event the settlement cannot be reached, a trial will be requested
  • Complete court trial
  • Judge will make a decision on issues that needed to be resolved
  • If there is any dispute with the judge’s decision, a motion for rehearing may be filed and an appeal can be made

Call us today at (321) 259-3100 to find out how we can help you with your child support issues, parenting plan, alimony, or other aspects related to your divorce settlement or judgment. Our experienced and caring attorneys are here to make the process clear and straightforward so that you can continue building your new life beyond divorce.

We offer reasonable fees and can help you make objective decisions that are in your best long-term interests.

Schedule your 30 minute consultation with one of our attorneys.