The difference between a contested divorce without children and a contested divorce with children is that the only issues that require agreement pertain to marital assets, marital debts and spousal support and do not involve issues regarding children.
It is important to know that if one of the parties simply refuses to cooperate or to compromise will not stop the divorce from happening. If it takes it, a judge will decide for the non-cooperating party and then will sign the dissolution and the parties will be divorced and the issues regarding assets, debts and spousal support will be awarded as per the judge’s order. Keep in mind that the judge will patiently hear out the one party’s opinion as to how the assets, debts and spousal support should be handled and will probably get the majority of their requests granted provided they are reasonable.
Contested divorces cost more than an uncontested divorce because of additional legal fees to cover extended discovery and court appearances as well as other associated court costs such as mediation.
The majority of contested divorces are settled before the final hearing making it unnecessary for a judge to make decisions for the divorcing parties. A contested divorce can go smoothly if both parties work with their attorneys to find an equitable solution to divide marital property and debts.
One of the most powerful aspects of a contested divorce is the discovery process. This is where each side will send the other quests that are called interrogatories which have been drafted by the lawyers that require the parties to answer these questions under oath. These questions are about assets, finance retirement accounts, and other financial information. There are other discovery documents that will request copies of checking accounts, savings accounts, payroll checks, income tax returns, cred card bills and more. After the written discovery is completed depositions can be conducted. A deposition is where the lawyers can ask questions regarding the issues surrounding the divorce and the deposed person has to answer these questions under sworn oath. The purpose of all this discovery is to find out if the opposing party is hiding assets so it can be determined exactly how much money and earning power they might have so it can be fairly divided between the spouses.
It is extremely important for divorcing parties that are involved in a contested divorce to allow their attorney to properly prepare for trial. This allows you to negotiate a settlement from a position of power. Telling the other party that they will be fair or you will make a judge make them be fair is a powerful motivator to get them to compromise. Having said that, RS Law understands that ultimately, most people want to settle and we will do everything in our power to help you settle the issues without going all the way to trial.
We know that this is a very emotional time for everyone involved and we will handle the business part of the divorce while you deal with the emotional part of the divorce.
50/50 isn’t always fair and we will help you review your assets and debts and negotiate a settlement that is fair to you. RS Law will meet with you for consultation to discuss the specifics of your divorce, schedule an appointment today.