Divorce is never easy, even in situations where both parties are in agreement. However, when one party does not agree to the dissolution of marriage or settlement terms, the result is a contested divorce. In a typical uncontested divorce the couple is expected to come to a reasonable agreement as to the terms of the settlement. When one person contests the divorce it means they do not agree to the terms and therefore the divorce is headed towards trial. A contentious divorce can make the process longer and, as a result, more difficult and expensive.
Terms for Divorce Settlement
When a couple divorces in Florida they need to work to come to an agreement as to the major settlement terms. These settlement terms cover such topics as:
- Distribution of assets;
- Allocation of debts;
- Child custody;
- Child support; and
- Child visitation.
In Florida, as in other states, marital assets and liabilities must be distributed equitably in a divorce. Assets that were attained during the marriage are included in marital property with few exceptions. Distribution of assets can become complicated, particularly when the both husband and wife have been working, have pensions or retirement accounts, and have been married for a long time. It is best to discuss these issues with a qualified divorce attorney as soon as possible so concerns can be cleared up quickly.
How to Resolve Differences
When your divorce is acrimonious it requires special treatment. An experienced divorce attorney assists in resolving the major problems and restoring agreement. Many times, emotions take over, especially when it comes to finances and issues regarding the children. When this happens, it is helpful for you to have assistance from your attorney, who is able to see the situation from a more objective position. It is important to ensure that your rights are protected while allowing for some compromises that will make the divorce process smoother and less stressful.
Speeding Up the Divorce Process
A contested divorce can take longer to complete and becomes more expensive, time consuming, and stressful. If your divorce is contested it will take an emotional toll on the entire family. It is often best to try to resolve the differences without having to go to trial. As the divorce progresses you may realize that it is becoming difficult. Often, the judge sends couples back to try to resolve their own issues. The judge may even require mediation before making a final determination, which is done in a hearing. To avert this situation, your attorney will help guide you through the resolution process with as few problems as possible.
Contested Final Hearing
If, after all possible options have been exhausted, the couple is still unable to agree to the divorce issues, there will be a final hearing. In the contested final hearing, also called a trial, both parties present evidence and testimony to the judge, who will make a final decision. Your divorce attorney will prepare you and guide you through the entire process to achieve your desired outcome.
If you are facing the possibility of a contested divorce, it is important to reach out to skilled counsel immediately. Contact the Tampa divorce and family lawyers at All Family Law Group, P.A. in Tampa Bay at 813-816-2232 for a consultation at no charge or email us.
By Lynette Silon-Laguna Google+