Divorce can be a challenging experience, particularly if the parties involved cannot agree on how to resolve their disputes. If a couple disagrees on money, property, or the custody of their children, it may be necessary to go to court.
In a contested divorce, each party has their own idea about how to resolve their case. Reaching an agreement can be difficult if emotions get in the way of rational thinking, which is why the assistance of a knowledgeable divorce attorney could be essential. In these types of cases, you need a highly skilled Columbia contested divorce lawyer who is willing and able to fight for you and your children’s best interests.
Contested Versus Uncontested Divorce in Columbia
In uncontested divorces, spouses are able to resolve all of their marital issues through their own negotiations or with the help of an attorney. These types of divorces usually take less time and are emotionally easier for the parties involved than contested separations. If the couple cannot agree on divorce terms, a court will step in and settle the case.
Contested divorces often take longer and are more expensive because the parties are preparing for court. Cases like this could require several days of trial to give a judge sufficient information to make a final decision. When the trial ends, a judge issues a final decree that both parties are bound to, regardless of whether they agree with the outcome.
A spouse who believes their marriage termination case may be heading toward court is well-advised to consult a diligent attorney in Columbia.
Common Issues in Contested Divorces
Separations are painful, and it can be hard to resolve marital issues if spouses are angry and hurt. Even if two people can agree on certain aspects of their separation, others may appear unsolvable. Some common issues that arise in contested divorce cases include:
- Child custody
- Child support
- Spousal support
- Property division
- Transfer of retirement accounts
- Allocation of debt
- Legal fees
Many divorces like this involve disputes over who is at fault for the marital breakup, which can make negotiations emotionally tolling.
Battling over the grounds for divorce can lead to lengthier court proceedings and substantially more money spent. Before filing a contested separation in court, a couple could consult a seasoned attorney in Columbia to discuss their options.
How do Contested Marriage Terminations Proceed?
While every divorce case is different, certain steps are typically taken in any divorce proceeding.
Filing an Action
To begin a formal action, a party must file an initial divorce pleading. The opposing party is served with a summons that they must respond to within a specified time and a copy of the complaint.
Exchanging Relevant Information
During the discovery process phase of the litigation, parties can request information from each other about their children, property, and finances. The purpose of discovery is to give each person a clear understanding of the other’s financial situation and position before going to court.
Most family court judges require parties to mediation before going to trial. Mediation allows the parties to negotiate with the hope of resolving their case by agreement. If settlement discussions are unsuccessful, the case will go to trial.
Proceeding to Trial
Spouses usually go to court for contested divorce if all other efforts have failed. During trial, each party offers testimony, witnesses, and evidence to support their claims for relief. Trials like this can be highly complicated. With so much at stake, neither party is advised to go to court without a Columbia contested divorce attorney by their side.
Consult a Columbia Contested Divorce Attorney Today
If you and your spouse are unable to agree about the details of your divorce, going to court might be your only option. Contested marriage terminations cases can be emotional, protracted, and financially challenging.
If you believe ending your marriage may result in a trial, contact a dedicated Columbia contested divorce lawyer as soon as possible. Our legal team could take the time to you understand your case and prepare you for court, if necessary. Call today to schedule a consultation.