When it comes to divorce, most people are looking for the fastest resolution that benefits them the most. Balancing those two can be difficult depending upon the demands of each party. While some people can agree to terms within a divorce quickly, others find a contested divorce the only viable option for their divorce. Understanding what a contested divorce means is important when separating from a spouse and ending a marriage.
Uncontested vs. Contested Divorce
A contested divorce means that at least one of the spouses involved contests one or more of the issues at hand that need to be resolved as a part of the divorce. While an uncontested divorce can happen when both spouses agree on all terms, when two spouses decide to end a marriage, often cannot agree on things, which is why they wound up in family court to begin with. Contested divorces can be quite stressful, which is why having an experienced divorce attorney who knows how to handle contested cases delicately, effectively, and quickly while gaining the desired results is a must.
Despite this, however, it’s important to remember that having a contested divorce is not a bad thing at all – in fact, many divorces are contested. If your spouse has been abusive, unfaithful, or is a narcissist, a contested divorce can help ensure your rights and finances are protected.
Is It Worth Contesting a Divorce?
In a situation where your current spouse is not willing to compromise or negotiate, you may want to pursue a contested divorce to avoid an unfair divorce settlement.
Reasons For Contesting a Divorce
While every person has their own reasons for a divorce, highly contested issues within a divorce can involve virtually anything that becomes a point of contention between the parties. One might have difficulty deciding how finances should be split, who gets the house, or even child custody rights. Our Texas Divorce Lawyers have noticed 5 primary reasons for choosing a contested divorce rather than the faster-agreed divorce.
- The Concealment of Assets
- The Best Interests of Children
- Spousal Maintenance
- Abuse in the Marriage
- Spouse is Unwilling to Compromise and Has Unrealistic Expectations
The Concealment of Assets
It’s a tale as old as time. Spouses in conflict have a habit of hiding things, especially financial assets from each other during marriage. This can be a great cause of tension as well as reason for divorce. Ensuring that you get everything you deserve in a divorce is a large part of what a contested divorce attorney in Texas provides for each case. When a spouse conceals assets from a court, the judge will not be able to take the value of these items into account when it comes to deciding how to divide the property between the parties. Additionally, such assets may also have an impact on the determination of spousal maintenance, if any, and child support. Because a contested divorce is litigated, it gives each spouse access to discovery tools that can help identify all assets in question, which can help put the parties on a level playing field.
The Best Interests of Children
If parents disagree regarding co-parenting arrangements, a contested divorce is required in order to get a court ruling on custody and/or visitation. This is because a judge is required to make a finding that best serves the best interests of the child or children involved. This process includes the consideration of factors like the emotional and physical needs of the children, each parent’s ability to provide for the children, any past acts or omissions by a parent that could indicate trouble within the parent-child relationship, as well as the wishes of the child or children themselves.
Spousal support is necessary in many situations following a divorce; however, it’s not uncommon for spouses to disagree. In a contested divorce, it must be proved to the court that the party seeking financial support gave up significant opportunities during the marriage. A judge can approve a request for spousal support for a variety of valid reasons, including one of the parties left school to get a job while the other obtained a degree, one spouse suffers from an impairment that leaves them unable to work, or if a spouse cannot work because they are the caregiver for a disabled child.
Abuse in the Marriage
One of the most difficult reasons for divorce is abuse in the home, whether that abuse was psychological or physical. While divorcing an abusive spouse can bring hope in most desperate of times, it can be difficult, as abusive spouses likely want to interfere with the divorce proceedings as much as possible. There was a recent case where an abusive spouse manipulated police into providing him phone data information on his separated spouse. Because of this, having an experienced divorce attorney that has handled many abuse cases can provide better support and counsel in court through a contested divorce, ensuring the least possible interference from the abusive spouse.
Spouse is Unwilling to Compromise and Has Unrealistic Expectations
In the event a spouse assumes they are entitled to unreasonable terms, a contested divorce is in the best interests of both sides. It is impossible to resolve all related family law issues with someone unwilling to compromise or negotiate. Pursuing a contested divorce may be cumbersome; however, it helps avoid an incredibly one-sided and/or unfair divorce settlement.
Dallas & Tarrant County Divorce Attorneys
Whether contested or uncontested, a divorce is an incredibly arduous process to go through. While uncontested divorces can be processed without much forethought, a contested divorce can help to ensure the concerns of each spouse are addressed with the assistance of an experienced divorce attorney. At Marx, Altman & Johnson, our Dallas and Tarrant County family lawyers work with clients to establish their goals in order to reach the best possible outcome for both parents and children. If you are filing for divorce, contact our office today for more information on how we can assist you.