What Is a Contested Divorce?

May 12, 2021
Picture of woman taking wedding band off

Our San Jose Divorce Lawyer Explains Contested Divorces

Some divorces end amicably with former spouses agreeing on key issues like child support, alimony, or the division or property. In other cases, the divorce process is much more adversarial. Contested divorces are a good example of a more adversarial type of divorce, where the former spouses cannot agree on one or more issues.

With a contested divorce, there are likely to be more hearings and legal requirements involved. In cases where spouses cannot reach a settlement, it may be necessary to complete an agreement in divorce court. Below, our San Jose divorce lawyer explains contested divorces in California.

Contested Divorces vs. Uncontested Divorces

Spouses involved in a contested divorce may have disagreements on the terms of their divorce. Disagreements may be over:

Uncontested divorces are exactly what they sound like. With an uncontested divorce, the spouses are in mutual agreements on the terms. California calls this a “summary dissolution”. Summary dissolution is a fast-tracked process to end a marriage. While this may be an option for some divorcing spouses, it may not be a good option for everyone. Not all couples are eligible for this type of divorce.

For example, you would need to have no minor children together with your spouse. Additionally, you and your spouse would have to waive your right to spousal support. Our San Jose divorce attorney can help you determine which divorce option is best for your situation.

How Long Does a Contested Divorce Take?

It depends on the circumstances surrounding your divorce. However, the steps involved may include:

  • 1. Meeting with your divorce attorney. During the first meeting with your divorce attorney, you would go over some of the specifics surrounding your divorce.
  • 2. Serving divorce papers to your spouse. After the initial meeting with your divorce attorney, it is time to serve your spouse divorce papers. Your spouse has 30 days to respond.
  • 3. Going through discovery. During the discovery phase, spouses obtain information on each other’s assets and income.
  • 4. Settlement negotiations or divorce court. If you and your spouse cannot come to a settlement on the terms of your divorce, then divorce court will be necessary. The court may decide the outcome of the divorce agreement after hearing arguments from both sides.
  • 5. Appeals process. If you or your spouse disagree with the court’s decision, then you may be able to appeal.

Contact Our San Jose Divorce Attorney for a Free Consultation

Our San Jose divorce attorney can walk you through the contested divorce process during a free consultation. We can answer any questions you have about reaching a settlement with your spouse.

You can schedule a free consultation with the Law Offices of Thomas Nicholas Cvietkovich by dialing (408) 404-8656 or by using the contact form on our site. Continue to follow our blog feed for regular updates on California divorce law matters.