Divorce is a difficult process, and while some are able to navigate this process in a way that allows them to pursue a beneficial resolution out of court, others may not be able to do this. Litigation is often necessary in contested divorces, and it may be necessary for you to go to court in order to protect your long-term interests. While this can be a stressful and overwhelming process, it is still possible to protect your interests.
A contested divorce happens when the two parties are unable to come to any meaningful conclusion regarding their divorce disputes. Negotiations and other disputes resolution methods may not be effective, and your spouse may not be willing to work with you to resolve your issues out of court. Whether you’ve already filed or are planning to file soon, it is in your interests to understand how you can fight for the most beneficial outcome in court.
What happens next?
A contested divorce starts with one party filing a petition and the other party responding to it. After these initial steps, you will probably have to navigate the following steps:
- The discovery process is when each spouse receives detailed information about the other spouse’s finances, assets, debts and more. This step is necessary in the pursuit of a fair property division order.
- After the discovery, if a settlement is not possible, the divorce case will move to trial. A trial may include hearing from witnesses, attorneys and professionals as each spouse fights for his or her desired outcome.
- Any final decisions made by the judge are subject to appeal. If you did not get the outcome you wanted, you do not have to give up hope.
The process of going to trial can be lengthy and complex. Litigation is not always a fast process, and you may find it helpful to keep your focus on what will be best long-term as you pursue terms that will affect you for years to come.
Don’t fight alone
Navigating the California family court system can be complex and confusing. If you are facing a contested divorce and the possibility of going to court, you do not have to fight alone. There is significant benefit in working with a legal ally who will have your best interests in mind and fight on your behalf at every stage of the divorce process.