Role Of A Family Law Attorney In A Contested Divorce

These days divorce is a common reality and not just something whispered about on occasion. More and more people are inquiring about a divorce and what the legal process is. Some people really want a divorce and others simply want to know what their options are. Divorce is a legal process that allows two married people to permanently end their marriage agreement and freeing them of all marital obligations. The legal processes vary depending on whether the divorce is contested or uncontested. A contested divorce is one where both parties cannot agree on certain issues such as division or marital assets. They often go to court and require time and money.Tiffany Fina Law Firm

Divorce lawyers deal with contested divorces regularly. The longer a couple has been married the more issues there are to deal with. When two people cannot agree completely the court will step in. Common issues are division of assets, child custody, and child support. Any time a case goes to court, it is going to take longer. The court is obligated to listen to both parties arguments and determine a final solution. In certain situations the parties may be assisted by a mediator to try to reach common ground without going to court.

The first few meetings held with a family law attorney are an interview to find out about the major issues to be decided in the divorce. They ask for any paperwork applicable to marital assets and other important factors such as children. After getting all the information they need, they will go over it and determine what is reasonable. This information is used to file the divorce petition to be served to the spouse. If they do not respond in thirty days, they are considered to be in default and the divorce is automatically granted. The discovery phase begins before the divorce petition is filed and delivered to the spouse. All information, paperwork and other needed items are gathered by the divorce lawyers for both parties. Settlement papers may be drafted many times until a decision is reached. If both parties can not reach a settlement, the court takes over and trial proceedings begin.

The divorce trial operates much like any other type of trial. Each party is allowed witnesses and will be cross-examined by the opposing party’s lawyer. Then closing arguments will be made and the judge will make a decision. After the order has been signed by the presiding judge, either party has thirty days to file for a trial motion granting relief of the judgment. If the trial motion is denied, an appeal can then be filed to the appellate court within thirty days after the denial.

All of the steps involved in a contested divorce are complex and can be very time consuming. When a trial is needed, the amount of time increases drastically and there is no way to know exactly how long it will take. One advantage of a court trial is the ability to be granted restraining orders if there is fear of being harmed. The biggest disadvantage is that both parties can walk away financially exhausted.