Contested Divorce 

Contested Divorce in California

Support from Your Murrieta Divorce Attorneys

A contested divorce is a divorce that must go to trial before a judge in order to resolve specific issues related to the divorce agreement. This includes pertinent issues like child custody and child support— when children were involved in the marriage—spousal support and the division of property and assets. Rather than spouses deciding upon these issues on their own through a collaborative or uncontested divorce, they are essentially asking the judge to make a decision for them.

Differences Between Contested and Uncontested Divorce

A contested divorce typically takes longer than an uncontested divorce, generally lasting at least one year. Some contested divorces may take two or three years. Because the case goes to trial, both parties will end up paying more for attorney representation. Legal proceedings of this nature are also more likely to lead to stress and a less than amicable relationship between spouses. Due to the time, expense and stress that may be involved in a courtroom divorce, a couple will usually try to reach an amicable divorce settlement out of court, first.

If they are simply unable to figure out these matters on their own, however, it may be beneficial to take the matter to court and let a third party make the decisions for them—although this does not mean that all matters must be resolved in this manner from that point on. A divorce can become uncontested at any point throughout the process if both parties are willing to compromise through mediation. Similarly, the divorce can again become contested if an agreement cannot be made.

Is Contested or Uncontested Divorce Right for Me?

Making the decision of whether or not to handle a divorce in court can only be made by the couple. Depending on both parties' ability to compromise and settle a dispute through mediation, sometimes there is no other choice but to handle a divorce one way or the other. Speaking with an attorney is one way for a spouse to understand the scope of their options, however. Many times— even if a couple is not fully willing to cooperate—the efficiency of an uncontested divorce may become the more practical option, whereas other times a contested divorce may be easier for both parties to navigate.

Contact our Murrieta office at (951) 506-6654.

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