Contested Divorce in California?
A Professional Local Divorce Attorney Can Protect You
When people get married, divorce is probably the furthest thought from their mind. They are likely thinking positively about the future — about the house, the car and the one big happy family that is supposed to come with being married. Sadly, this outcome does not become a reality for everyone. The reasons a person may feel inclined to divorce his or her partner are many and varied. Perhaps your partner was abusive towards you and/or your children? Or maybe your lives have just gone in different directions? Whatever the reason, a divorce is not always accepted by both sides. Luckily, for spouses who want to get out of a toxic relationship in California, your divorce can be contested by your spouse and you will still be able to file.
Although a contested divorce in California is legal, your divorce proceedings will still likely be emotional and tedious. In order to fully protect yourself, it is in your best interest to seek experienced legal representation. The divorce attorneys at Gomez Edwards Law Group, LLP have been representing individuals in contested divorces who want to separate from their spouses for over a decade. Since opening the doors to our Santa Clara family law firm, we have helped several families start their lives anew after seeing them through their divorce proceedings. We can help you, too.
What Is a Contested Divorce?
Sometimes partners decide to part ways amicably. This means each partner works together or in conjunction with their separate attorneys to solve all loose ends (property, assets child custody etc.). It is also referred to as an “uncontested divorce”. As you might have guessed, a “contested divorce” is when the couple cannot agree on getting a divorce, or to the terms laid out in a divorce agreement. A contested divorce is one of the most difficult divorce proceedings to undergo, but the benefits far outweigh the stress in the long run. While it is not always necessary to hire a divorce attorney in uncontested divorces, it is almost always necessary that you will need one for a contested divorce. These types of proceedings have a tendency to become more heated than others, especially when domestic violence is involved. If you are facing a contested divorce, then you will benefit immensely from having an unbiased third party as your legal representative.
How Do I File for a Contested Divorce?
In the state of California, a person seeking divorce must follow certain steps before it is deemed official. As mentioned, if — after initially filing for divorce — your spouse disagrees with any aspect of the agreement, then your divorce is now considered “contested”. In this case, you will have to follow the normal steps to file for divorce and more in order to complete your filing, including:
- The “Discovery” process. The weeks leading up to your divorce proceedings is the time when you and your attorney will gather necessary information. This usually means obtaining witness testimony, drafting depositions and case plans as well as any relevant information from your soon-to-be ex-spouse.
- Pre-trial. Before your case goes to trial, there will be a pre-trial period where settlements and agreements are offered; California calls this a “settlement conference”. This pre-trial phase gives you and your spouse a chance to settle without going to court (which can quickly become expensive). It also provides helpful insight as to how the judge will rule during future court proceedings based on the facts presented. If the couple does not settle during pre-trial, then a trial date is set and attorneys have time to revamp their case plans if need be.
- Trial. This is make or break it time. Both sides will present their arguments — complete with evidence gathered in the Discovery process — and a judge will decide the outcome. If you disagree with the judge’s decision, then you have the right to file an appeal. Again, this can become expensive as it will draw divorce proceedings out even further.
If your spouse contests a divorce, take comfort in knowing that there is still light at the end of the tunnel. One of our experienced divorce attorneys will perform all the preceding tasks and more in order to build the strongest case plan possible for your contested divorce in California.
Questions About Your Contested Divorce in California? Call Our Office Today
At Gomez Edwards Law Group, LLP, we understand that going through a divorce — whether it is contested or not — is one of the most difficult experiences in a person’s life. It is our goal to take as much stress as possible off our client’s shoulders when they come to our Santa Clara family law firm for aid.
We have been helping fellow Californians move on from their former spouses for over a decade. We offer free consultations where you can sit down with one of our attorneys in person to discuss your case in detail. Contact our office to see how we can help you.