Many individuals go through a contested divorce process. Sometimes, it is the best option for moving on in life.
Here are a few things to help people facing this situation prepare.
What is it?
As with any divorce, a spouse files a divorce petition with their county court. Then, the couple must address asset distribution, child support and custody issues. Uncontested divorces are those where the couple can agree on these issues. However, if a couple cannot agree, the judge might have to decide on these issues, making it a contested divorce.
The process begins when one spouse files for divorce and serves the papers to the other. Next, the court will likely set a time for a final trial. Then, one spouse might file for temporary orders. Finally, both parties should attempt mediation before going to court.
How is filing affected?
Generally, at the time of filing, the court sets a date for the final trial. This will likely be two months or more away. Then, a law enforcement agent, such as a constable, serves the spouse the papers with the divorce claims. In a contested divorce, the spouse receiving the documents must respond with an answer in a timely fashion. Typically, the response contains a denial of divorce petition claims.
What are temporary orders?
Temporary orders allow spouses to do things like pay bills with shared money or keep seeing children. In cases involving domestic violence, they can include temporary restraining documents. Temporary orders are prevalent in cases involving children and mediation. Requesting temporary orders is often the first time spouses appear in court.
Divorce is not easy. It only gets more complex when spouses contest it. Therefore, negotiate divorce matters before undertaking a contested divorce.