When it comes to divorce, the separating couples can mutually agree to go their own ways. However, this happens in very rare cases.
In many divorce cases, one or more issues may lead to disagreement between the divorcing spouses which necessitates a contested divorce. Understanding what this means is very important when moving towards dissolving a marriage.
Contested Vs. Uncontested Divorce
For a contested divorce, one party contests one or more issues at hand and which must be resolved during the divorce process. The uncontested divorce occurs when the spouses agree on all terms. And that’s why uncontested divorce cases are much easier to resolve than the contested ones.
Despite this, it’s important to understand that contesting your divorce is not a bad thing. Most of the divorce cases are contested. For instance, in cases of abuse, narcissism, or infidelity, contesting a divorce is important to protect the rights and interests of the person suffering this abuse.
What Are the Main Reasons for Contesting a Divorce?
A contested divorce case may arise from anything that becomes a point of contention between parties. For instance, the couple may have challenges determining how to split finances, who gets child custody rights, or who gets to keep the marital house. The best way to protect your interest in these cases is by engaging a contested divorce law firm Houston.
Here are the primary reasons for contesting a divorce case in court.
- Concealment of Assets
It’s a common practice for divorcing parties to hide things especially assets from their spouses during the marriage and when divorcing. When a party conceals an asset before a judge, the judge will not consider the value of this asset when deciding how parties will divide the assets among themselves.
Further, the concealed assets will impact child support and spousal maintenance determination. But since contested divorce is litigated, parties have access to litigation tools that help identify all the assets in question thus leveling the playing field.
- Spousal Maintenance
Spousal maintenance is a necessity in many situations that follow a divorce. Unfortunately, most spouses tend to disagree on this.
In a contested divorce, the party seeking maintenance must prove that they gave up significant opportunities in the course of their marriage. A judge will then assess the evidence and decide whether to approve or decline the request.
Some of the reasons that may warrant spousal maintenance include situations where one party left school to get a job, or a spouse suffers an impairment that makes it hard for them to work or they’re a caregiver to a disabled child.
- Unrealistic Expectations
At times, a spouse who doesn’t want to divorce may set unrealistic expectations with the hope of derailing the process. Maybe the person doesn’t want to negotiate or compromise on all issues relating to family law. Dealing with such a spouse may not yield any positive result. The result, pursue a contested divorce case to avoid a case of unfair divorce decision or settlement.
- The Best Interest of the Kids
It’s not uncommon for parents to disagree on the co-parenting arrangement and responsibility. In such a case, a contested divorce is needed to decide on custody or visitation rights.
The judge is obligated by law to consider the best interest of the child before deciding. In doing so, they’ll consider important factors like the physical and emotional needs of the child. Further, the judge will check the ability of each parent to provide and take care of the kids,
Whether contested or uncontested, divorce cases are an incredibly arduous process for any person to go through. As such, one must ensure they get the best legal representation that protects their rights.