While no divorce is never easy, if your divorce is contested, it ensures that your journey forward will be highly challenging. One of the most important steps you can take, however, to protect your financial and parental rights and to help you navigate the complicated path ahead is consulting with an experienced contested divorce lawyer in Hampton, VA, sooner rather than later in the process.
In order to better understand contested divorce in Virginia, it’s essential to consider what an uncontested divorce encompasses. When a divorce is uncontested, the couple not only agrees to the divorce but must also have a written separation agreement in place that delineates the following (for their mandatory minimum separation of six months – if they have no children – or for their mandatory minimum separation of one year if they share children):
There is a lot going on in an uncontested divorce, but if you and your divorcing spouse can hammer out terms that you are both willing to accept, it can save you considerable time, heartache, and expense. This, however, isn’t always possible.
If you and your divorcing spouse hit a snag on any of the terms related to your divorce and cannot come to an agreement regardless of your attempts to do so, your divorce is contested. This does not mean, however, that you are required to spontaneously agree in order to stay in uncontested territory. Instead, you can use every resource available to you in your efforts to reach an agreement, including extensive negotiations that include the professional legal counsel of your respective divorce attorneys and even alternative dispute resolution (ADR) options, such as mediation.
At mediation, a professional mediator who is a neutral third party with considerable experience helping couples resolve complex divorce issues will attempt to guide you and your divorcing spouse – along with your respective divorce attorneys – toward compromises on those divorce issues that remain unresolved.
If you and your soon-to-be-ex are unable to find common ground regardless of how much effort you put into it, you will need to pursue a contested divorce, which means turning to the court to resolve the terms that remain undecided for you. While letting go of your decision-making power regarding these important matters is difficult, it is sometimes necessary. For instance, if your divorcing spouse is invested in making the divorce as complicated as he or she possibly can, the court’s intervention is likely inevitable. Additional complications that make a contested divorce more likely include high assets, business ownership, and other financial difficulties.
The experienced contested divorce lawyers at Mahoney & Richmond, PLLC, in Hampton have a wealth of experience guiding complex cases like yours toward favorable resolutions. We’re on your side, so please don’t wait to contact us today.