When couples in Florida are ending their marriages, they are ready to part ways permanently. In general, the concluding step of this process is finalizing the divorce. But if one of the spouses contests the divorce, that resolution might be months or even years away.
What is a contested divorce?
A contested divorce happens when one spouse files for divorce and serves the original divorce papers and the other spouse disagrees with the terms. It often happens when spouses disagree over child custody and support, alimony, or the division of assets. Once the divorce is contested, the spouses must work with a mediator to find a resolution to the issues or depend on litigation, court visits and the court to make a decision over the issues.
What happens during a contested divorce?
Once it has been established that the process is a contested divorce, the lawyers for each party will collect information, including financial documents and witness statements, to support their case. During the beginning of the process, a judge might set temporary orders regarding custody and support, that will be legally binding during the proceedings but might be changed at the conclusion of the case. At the final hearing, the court will review the evidence presented by each side to make a judgment.
Why should you avoid a contested divorce?
If possible, you should attempt to avoid a contested divorce. Some of the reasons to opt for more amicable negotiations include:
• The length of time spent
• The emotional impact of a contested divorce on both spouses and their children
• The cost of a contested divorce, which can become much higher than a more collaborative process