How to Survive a Contested Divorce

Anyone navigating a divorce with a spouse who is being difficult or demanding about what they’re entitled to can be a daunting process. When high net worth couples decide to part ways, contested divorces are that much more common and difficult to manage. If you find yourself in this type of situation in California, you may wish to speak with an Irvine contested divorce lawyer at our firm.

Whether your former spouse is making exorbitant child custody, support or alimony demands, or simply refusing to sign the divorce papers, here are some tips for navigating a contested divorce in California.   

Dealing with an Uncooperative Spouse

If your spouse is refusing to sign the proof of service – or the papers declaring and initiating your divorce, does not wish to divorce, or does not agree on many of the issues and decisions being outlined as part of the divorce, then you are dealing with an uncooperative spouse. Fortunately, California does allow a divorce to proceed under these circumstances so long as you can obtain some proof of service that a divorce has been initiated. To ensure your spouse is served, you might wish to hire a process server, hire a sheriff to deliver the papers, or ask a friend or family member to present your spouse with the papers. Ever seen that scene in a movie where a person is duped into opening the door for a messenger, who turns out to be handing them their divorce papers? That’s exactly what you’ll need in order to complete this important first step in a divorce. When delivered this way, your spouse won’t have to sign the papers, because whoever served them will simply attest that they were delivered.

Filing Your Divorce with the Help of an Irvine Contested Divorce Lawyer

If your spouse is contesting the divorce by either being non-responsive or refusing to agree on the issues, it is likely that you will have to go to trial. There are essentially two different possibilities that can emerge: Once your spouse has been served, you can wait 30 days for a response and file a default divorce, or your spouse will respond and you will have to prepare for trial.

In many ways, obtaining a default divorce would be ideal because it would essentially mean that your spouse has agreed to relinquish any stake in your property and assets. The default divorce would be a quick and painless way of ending your marriage and ensuring that each person receives what you believe they are entitled to. However, when you’re dealing with an uncooperative spouse in a highly contentious fight for your assets, a default divorce is rarely the outcome.

Instead, that becomes the point where a competent Irvine contested divorce lawyer will be crucial in securing a favorable outcome in court. If you haven’t already, contact our office to explore your options.