When ending a marriage, the parties often find themselves worlds apart with regard to the key issues, creating a rather complicated legal process – the contested divorce. In a contested divorce, husband and wife disagree significantly over some or even all aspects of custody, property or support, and they demonstrate little willingness to give on their respective positions. In this situation, resolution will not be swift (it could take up to a year or even more) and may require a full trial before a family court judge who will decide all disputed issues.
When parties begin so far apart in the process of divorce, one or both parties may need to request temporary relief from the court until the final dissolution of the marriage – how will custody of the children be handled? Who will have possession of the marital home? Who will pay for all the monthly expenses and support the children? How will property be safeguarded so one spouse does not deplete marital assets? These issues are resolved through the court's standing pendente lite motion or a pendente lite hearing.
Also, parties will engage in discovery to be sure of the facts, to see if one party might be hiding information from the other. Depositions – testimony given outside of court but under oath – may be taken. Eventually, the parties will reach a resolution of the issues and reduce them to a Marital Settlement Agreement, or they will require a trial where each side will present evidence, examine and cross-examine witnesses, and the judge will decide all of the disputed issues.
To proceed through this legal maze, you will need a skilled and experienced attorney to represent and assert your interests, provide you with critical advice, evaluate the merits of the case and present you with possible outcomes relating to custody, property and support.
At Bowman Law Firm, we have over ten years of experience handling divorces. We help individuals understand their rights with regard to all issues, including child custody, child support, spousal support and division of property.
Contact the Bowman Law Firm at 256-649-9850.