Fiercely Advocating For Clients to Ensure They Receive a Fair Settlement
Although ending a marriage can be one of the most emotional and challenging events an individual can go through, some couples find it relatively easy to agree on the terms of a divorce. If a couple can readily agree on divorce terms, they usually have an uncontested divorce, which is typically more economical and less time-consuming than a contested divorce.
However, not all couples find it easy to agree to property division, alimony, or child support issues. When individuals cannot amicably agree on vital issues, it becomes necessary for both parties to ask for the court’s help in resolving their differences in a contested divorce.
If you are having trouble working out your divorce-related marital issues, contact Garner Law Firm, PLLC of Sumner County, TN, and ask to schedule a consultation so that we may discuss your case and explain your legal rights.
What is a Contested Divorce?
A contested divorce may be appropriate if the two spouses cannot agree to all the divorce terms. However, it is simply not enough for spouses not to agree to all of the divorce terms. Instead, to file for a contested divorce in Tennessee, individuals must have proof of grounds for divorce, some of which include:
- Abandonment for two or more years
- Attempted murder of a spouse
- Conviction of an infamous crime.
- Felony conviction
- Inappropriate marital conduct
- Substance abuse
However, when a spouse files for a contested divorce based on fault grounds, the other spouse has the legal right to refute the accusations. As a result, individuals who are considering filing for a contested divorce should understand that the legal process will take significantly longer.
If you are still determining the type of divorce right for your circumstances, contact Garner Law Firm, PLLC of Sumner County, and ask to schedule a meeting with an experienced contested divorce attorney who can explain your legal options.
How Long Does a Contested Divorce Take to Complete?
A contested divorce takes significantly longer than an uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce can take as little as 60 to 90 days, whereas a contested divorce can take anywhere from 6 to 18 months. Additionally, a contested divorce can take significantly longer depending on how backed up the court docket is and the issues that must be resolved.
One of the most challenging issues usually involves which spouse should retain primary child custody. Often, a child custody evaluator is tasked with investigating several vital factors to determine who should be awarded custody. Often, the evaluation process can take several months to complete fully.
In high-asset divorce cases, spouses may disagree on everything from the division of marital assets, spousal support, or how to split retirement plans. Forensic accountants and other financial experts are called upon to disseminate the evidence in these cases.
Finally, several days of trial may be postponed due to legal delays and other issues affecting court proceedings. At this point, the judge will sort through a great deal of information, reports, and testimony from both sides before they can render a favorable verdict for both sides. As a result, a trial could last anywhere from a day to a week or, in extreme cases, several weeks before a decision is rendered, and the court issues a divorce decree.
Are There Legal Alternatives to a Contested Divorce?
Some couples need to be made aware that even if they cannot agree on the terms of their divorce, there are legal alternatives to make the process less expensive and time-consuming.
Divorce mediation is an out-of-court process where spouses work out their differences with a licensed, third-party mediator. The role of the mediator is to assist the couple in reaching a settlement they both feel is favorable to them without the need to go to trial.
In most cases, the court will order couples who disagree on the terms of their divorce to participate in mediation as the first method to resolve their issues. Mediation is considered a preferred method to help couples avoid going to court and is significantly more economical than divorce litigation.
Although individuals are not required to have legal representation, it is always in your best interest to do so to ensure your rights are protected during the mediation process.
Collaborative divorce is similar to mediation in that the negotiations occur outside of court. However, in a collaborative divorce, each party must have their lawyer present. In addition, each spouse must sign an agreement stating that they will abide by the terms decided on the collaborative divorce agreement.
As the name suggests, both parties “collaborate” with one another to work out the terms of their divorce without the expense of divorce litigation.
However, if either of these alternatives fails for any reason, the case will have to go to trial to be decided by a judge.
If you are trying to decide whether divorce mediation or collaborative divorce suits your situation, contact Garner Law Firm, PLLC, to discuss your options.
Why Should I Hire Your Contested Divorce Attorney to Help Me Resolve My Legal Issues?
Garner Law Firm, PLLC of Sumner County, has a proven record of obtaining favorable client divorce settlements.
When you come to us for legal help, we thoroughly review your case and determine what steps we must take to help you achieve maximum results. Our experienced legal team recognizes that it can be overwhelming to go through a contested divorce and either make or refute allegations in court.
For this reason, our staff handles the legal paperwork and works diligently to ensure you receive high-quality legal representation so that you can close this chapter of your life. We also strive to keep you informed quickly of any progress or changes that may occur in your case.
Contact the Garner Law Firm, PLLC, at our Hendersonville, TN, law offices by calling 615-502-4336 and ask to schedule a consultation to discuss your legal needs and how we can help you receive the fair settlement you deserve.