A contested divorce occurs when the parties are struggling to reach full agreement on the division of assets, finances and support, timesharing with children, management or buyout of businesses, etc. Even when the parties have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, one party may try to contest the validity of the agreement and the division of assets and liabilities as well as support, assuming invalidity.
The process begins when one party files a petition with the court, which will issue a summons. The petition and summons are served on the other spouse. The spouse is required to answer the petition by filing pleading(s) with the court within 20 days. Florida requires a “mandatory disclosure” with both spouses completing a financial affidavit listing income, assets, debts and budget. Whether both parties are seeking the same items from the marital home or disagree over division of property purchased during the marriage, negotiations are required to reach a settlement for divorce. However, if the terms for settlement cannot be agreed between the parties on their own or through a mediation, the court will set a date for a trial and the judge will make the decisions for you.
Our knowledgeable and dedicated attorneys can help you develop the right strategy and mindset to focus past your current emotional state toward your future situation, to ensure you do not overlook important items that end up costing you dearly. Even when a divorce starts out as contested, the parties often realize that trying to cooperate and agreeing upon terms to finalize a settlement agreement may be more beneficial. By agreeing to settle, the parties reduce their time invested, reduce the cost of divorce litigation, avoid public disclosures in open court, and may better control the outcome, to avoid allowing a judge to possibly deliver an adverse ruling.
However, in the event a settlement cannot be reached, you will still have an experienced and credible litigation attorney who is not hesitant to assert your position in court and strategically increase your chances of achieving your overall goals.
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