Contested Divorce

January 31, 2024 | By Doppelt and Forney
Contested Divorce

Few divorces are pleasant, but a contested divorce—that is, one in which the spouses are unable to reach an agreement on the terms of their divorce—may quickly become contentious and stressful.

If your spouse and you are having difficulties discussing the terms of your divorce, and you anticipate being unable to resolve the dispute even with the help of mediation, the San Diego contested divorce lawyers at Doppelt and Forney, APLC can provide you with assistance, advice, and legal representation. Our divorce attorneys can make sure that you obtain the help that you need to protect your rights in a divorce.

Protect Your Interests During a Contested Divorce

Divorces require spouses to settle a number of matters. Other than child custody issues, these terms are almost all about finances. Which property is separate, and which is community property? How much is the property worth, and who will get which assets? Has one of the spouses hidden or improperly valued any asset? How much debt belongs to the marriage, and who will be responsible for paying it off? Will alimony be paid, and how much and for how long? How much will each spouse need to provide in child support?

Unfortunately, even when a divorce is more or less “amicable,” the spouses may find it difficult to reach a mutually agreeable resolution on each of these items. These are not easy questions to answer. When the marriage is intact, you do not know—or need to know—the answers to these questions. When the marriage breaks down, however, and each party is contemplating a future without the financial benefits of mutual support, the answers to these questions may have far-reaching consequences related to each spouse’s overall future economic well-being.

Accordingly, spouses have a vested interest in having the answers to these questions favor them economically in one way or another, particularly when there may not be parity or near-parity in incomes between the spouses. The more disagreement that there is, the more likely it is that the parties will need legal help as the proceedings progress—sometimes all the way to a courtroom trial.

A contested divorce will proceed much like other civil lawsuits, which means that both parties must adhere to strict court deadlines, pleading requirements, disclosure requirements, and so on. Failing to comply with court rules and procedures may cause a party to lose or forfeit important rights. Consequently, if you find yourself in this situation, it is critical that you hire an experienced contested divorce attorney in the San Diego area to advise and represent you and to help you navigate the family court system.

Many contested divorces are ultimately settled before they reach the trial stage. Having a good attorney on your side may contribute to making this happen. By preparing your case thoroughly, you give the opposing party an incentive to reach an agreement. More often than not, an attorney’s diligent preparation will make it more likely that the settlement will not be averse to your interests.

The fact is, no matter how strongly each party may believe in their view of the case, putting the case before a judge is risky. You may not get what you want or expect. A settlement, however, at least allows you to participate in establishing the final terms of the divorce decree. Moreover, since a contested divorce will take longer to obtain, your attorney may help you resolve your contested divorce more efficiently so that you can move on with your life.

Retain a Contested Divorce Lawyer in San Diego

Divorce is not an easy proposition under any circumstances, but it may become considerably more complex when it is contested. Since a divorce has such long-lasting personal, emotional, and financial consequences, however, it is critical that, in a contested divorce, you obtain competent legal advice.

A divorce decree may be difficult to revise or modify after it becomes final, and it is essential to make sure that you do everything properly from the outset.

For advice and representation, contact the San Diego contested divorce attorneys at Doppelt and Forney, APLC. Call toll-free at 800.769.4748 or contact us online to set up an appointment. We also can assist people who need a child custody lawyer in San Diego, Coronado, Del Mar, La Jolla, Oceanside, Escondido, Rancho Santa Fe, Valley Center, and surrounding communities.