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Contested Divorce


Contested Divorce Explained

Whenever possible, the family law courts in Salt Lake City prefer to see couples negotiate out-of-court settlements for divorce, an approach which is referred to as uncontested divorce. This approach is faster, less stressful and usually more affordable for everyone involved, and it also keeps cases off a crowded court docket. It is not, however, always an option. The American Bar Association estimates that approximately 5 percent of divorces are contested in court. If you and your spouse simply cannot agree on matters such as child custody, alimony and asset division, you need a proven Salt Lake City divorce lawyer who can stand by you throughout the process and fight to defend your personal interests.

Contested divorce is common in cases where the party who initiates the divorce, the petitioner, is alleging that the other spouse, the respondent, is at fault for causing the divorce such as through adultery, impotence, drunkenness or cruel treatment. When this is the case, the respondent will typically refuse to agree to the terms demanded by the petitioner, and it will be necessary to fight the divorce out in court. Even in a no-fault divorce, the spouses may be unable to reach a mutually acceptable agreement for a settlement out of court. Whatever the cause for the dispute, the court will require the couple to attend divorce mediation as a final attempt to settle the divorce without litigation.

Advantages Of Contested Divorce

A contested divorce involves a number of courtroom appearances, including hearings and the eventual trial. Both parties will also have the option to compel discovery of financial records and other information, in order to build a case for arguing before the judge. For this reason, it is sometimes advantageous to pursue a contested divorce instead of an uncontested divorce, such as if you suspect that your spouse may have hidden assets and you want to use the process of discovery to reveal them for the purposes of claiming alimony or asset division. Take your first step now by contacting us at the Law Office of David Pedrazas for a free case evaluation. We understand how much is at stake for you and your family, and will work diligently to pursue a swift and effective resolution to the case with a minimum of stress and expense.