What is a Contested Divorce?
If you are getting a divorce and you and your spouse struggle to agree on anything, that is considered a contested divorce. This can be a tough thing to manage on your own, especially if it seems like your spouse is intent on making everything as difficult as possible. Fortunately, our Chatham, New Jersey divorce attorneys actually have a lot of experience with this kind of thing. We are ready to help you navigate this process and fight for the best possible outcome.
What Needs to Be Negotiated in a Contested Divorce?
A contested divorce could be contested over all sorts of issues. Generally, there are a few important things that a couple needs to agree on before a divorce can be finalized. A holdup on any issue can prevent you from moving on with your life. Topics that tend to be sticking points include:
- Child custody
- Child visitation and support
- Alimony, or spousal support
- How property is divided
- What happens to the marital home
- What happens to a shared business
- How any debts and liabilities are handled
This can be a lot to deal with, and sometimes just trying to talk things through with your spouse is not going to allow you to come to a conclusion on everything.
Do I Need to Go to Court for a Contested Divorce?
Most people think that you need to go to court right away if you cannot reach an agreement on a topic like alimony or property distribution, but that is not necessarily true. There are other options to exhaust first.
You can sit down with a mediator. This is a third party that can help you and your spouse work together to find solutions. This is a more collaborative environment than a courtroom, which can end up seeming quite adversarial. If you can reach any agreements, they can be submitted to the court.
There is also arbitration, which functions like litigation in some ways and mediation in others. There are parts that are like a trial, but expedited. When the arbitrator is done hearing your case, they can make their decision.
What Happens if My Spouse and I Cannot Agree On Something?
If you and your spouse really struggle to agree on something, going to court may be necessary. A judge can tackle such issues as child custody and property distribution. However, it is important to know that you may not end up liking what the judge decides to do. They could order a property sold, even if you wanted to keep it. They could arrive at an alimony decision that you disagree with. This is why it can be beneficial to negotiate for as long as you can.
Schedule a Consultation Today
If you need help negotiating your contested divorce, contact Lazor Rantas, PC. Our attorneys understand what you are going through and they are ready to be of assistance. We look forward to scheduling your consultation.