Divorce brings out many disagreements between spouses, however, the existence of a dispute does not make the separation “contested.” Marital dissolution is considered contested or uncontested depending on two parties’ ability to reach a resolution before going to trial.
If you and your spouse are struggling to come to an agreement concerning the division of assets or other matters, you should consider speaking with an experienced divorce attorney. Call our firm today to learn more about contested and uncontested divorces in New Haven.
In an uncontested divorce, both parties have reached an agreement before the trial on all issues relevant to their divorce, which can include division of assets and debts, alimony, custody and child support. As long as the parties submit an agreement to the court in advance of trial, regardless of whether this occurs before or after the statutory 90-day waiting period, the case will proceed as an uncontested divorce.
On the uncontested divorce date, the parties are canvassed on the signed agreement and the judge determines whether the agreement is fair and equitable and in the best interest of any children. If approved, the judge incorporates the signed agreement into the final judgment, and its terms become a binding court order. If the parties do not reach a resolution before trial, they will continue with a contested divorce.
When two spouses proceed with a contested divorce, their case is tried in family court. Each party will present evidence about the breakdown of the marriage and argue their position on the distribution of assets, parenting responsibilities, and support payments.
A judge will hear each party’s case and order a decision on all matters related to the divorce, which becomes a binding court order. Due to the complexity and finality of a trial, it is beneficial to seek legal representation for a contested divorce.
Pursuing a contested divorce is considerably more involved than resolving a divorce with an uncontested agreement. In addition to adhering to trial management schedules and conducting extensive written and in-person discovery, an individual spouse may need to seek third-party expert involvement.
For example, if one spouse feels the proposed division of assets is unfair, an attorney can bring in a financial expert to give a recommendation. The neutral party may value the couple’s marital property, measure each person’s earning capacity, and determine the need for spousal support. Expert testimony can help a judge better understand each party’s financial situation in court proceedings.
Additionally, if one party is petitioning for custody of shared children, a spouse may need to involve a guardian ad litem or family relations officer. Because contested cases require more external involvement, it is important to hire an attorney. Family law firms have the resources needed successfully advocate on behalf of a spouse in a contested divorce.
The emotions involved in ending a relationship can make it difficult to come to an amicable agreement about marital issues. Whether you are hoping to resolve all your disputes before going to trial or need an advocate in divorce proceedings, you should contact a dedicated attorney.
The lawyers at our firm have experience handling both contested and uncontested divorces in New Haven. Call the office today to schedule a meeting with a member of our team and start working toward a favorable outcome for your case.