Whether it is due to hurt feelings or disputes over marital property, many divorce cases become contentious. A Ventura County contested divorce lawyer could help resolve these challenging issues and help you protect your rights without letting your emotions get the best of you.
There are numerous advantages that come with hiring a dedicated divorce attorney. Your legal counsel not only advises you but also serves as your advocate when dealing with your former spouse. Their guidance could be a key factor in obtaining the outcome you want in your divorce.
A divorce is considered contested when there is at least one unresolved issue that the parties cannot work out themselves. When both spouses are not in complete agreement, it is ultimately the role of the court to make a final decision. Contested cases typically take much longer to resolve than an uncontested divorce. Some disputes in contested divorces involve:
An uncontested divorce is one where both spouses agree on all of the major issues. If there is no dispute regarding child custody or property division, it could be possible to resolve the case in a relatively short order. However, when even one issue cannot be resolved, the divorce is considered contested. A lawyer in Ventura County could assist with resolving a contested divorce.
The process of pursuing a contested divorce starts like any other. Once a spouse prepares a divorce petition, they must file it with the court and pay the filing fee. Next, the filer must serve a copy of the divorce petition on their spouse. In some uncontested divorces, the spouse will simply not respond at all. However, contested divorces usually involve a written answer.
Once the answer is filed, litigation begins. This process can whittle down the issues in dispute, eventually leading to a trial. At the trial, the judge determines each of the conflicts.
Many couples involved in a contested divorce still largely see eye-to-eye on a number of issues. When that is the case, the court does not require the parties to litigate matters that are not in dispute. This is referred to as bifurcation.
Regarding bifurcation, a couple could separate out all of the issues in which they agree and only have a trial on the contested matters. For example, a couple who reaches an agreement on property division but disagrees on spousal support could have a trial only on spousal support without addressing property distribution at all. This could save both spouses time and money. Reaching a negotiated settlement when possible and petitioning the court for a bifurcated trial are two ways a Ventura County lawyer could assist in a contested divorce.
If you are facing the prospect of a contentious divorce, seeking legal counsel could be in your best interest. A local attorney could advise you on your odds of success and help you push back against any unreasonable requests.
A Ventura County contested divorce lawyer could help you obtain a fair outcome in your divorce case. Reach out immediately for a private consultation.
Hoffer Family Law Firm