The Burton Firm

Exploring Types of Criminal Offenses

3 Elements of a Contested Divorce

2 min read
nc efi placeholder

If you are in the process of ending your marriage, there are several ways to proceed. The complex nature of a divorce can be simplified into two basic categories. The first is an uncontested divorce, which is categorized by two spouses agreeing on all aspects of the divorce. The second is contested divorce, which describes a divorce by spouses who don’t agree on one or multiple issues. Here’s what to know about contested divorce Tampa

Petition 

The first step is to prepare the divorce petition, which is a legal document describing the reason for the divorce. After a spouse files and serves the petition, then the other spouse must respond. The petition may include temporary orders to provide structure during the proceedings. These orders can be related to child support, visitation schedules, child custody, and living arrangements. 

Discovery

During the discovery phase of a divorce, attorneys work with the spouses to gather the information that pertains to legal proceedings. This process is about getting all pertinent information that could contribute to the outcome. To obtain this information, legal counsel will prepare subpoenas, depositions, and written documentation. The discovery phase helps spouses and lawyers clearly understand everything involved in the divorce so that a fair agreement can be negotiated. 

Pre-trial and Trial 

The discovery phase lays the foundation for pre-trial, during which the spouses attempt to reach a settlement without going to court. If they can not agree on all terms, they will need to present their cases to a judge. During the trial, the court calls witnesses and the attorneys conduct cross-examinations before the judge makes the final decisions. 

Though uncontested divorces can be less stressful and quicker, sometimes a contested divorce is the best option. If there are disagreements on issues that will impact the parties’ future, these should be ironed out before the marriage is legally dissolved.