Irvine Contested Divorce Lawyer
Most couples who want to get divorced like to believe that they will be able to do so amicably. In the divorce context, this normally means that the spouses (either by themselves or through their attorneys) will be able to reach an agreement without having to go to court. But relationships are messy, and disentangling a marriage — particularly when there are children involved — can be a labyrinthine feat. When major disagreements arise that the parties cannot settle on their own, the divorce becomes contested and may require the assistance of an Irvine contested divorce lawyer.
The Contested Divorce Process in California
Contested divorces take longer to reach their resolutions because they usually require trials. However, both contested and uncontested divorces begin the same way and go through many of the same steps. In California, the contested divorce process proceeds more or less as follows:
- Petition: One spouse begins the process by preparing and filing a petition for divorce, which is then served on the other spouse.
- Response: The spouse upon whom the petition is served files a response stating that he or she disagrees with what the petitioner is proposing
- Discovery: Each spouse obtains detailed information about the other spouse, such as their income, assets, work history, etc., through interrogatories, subpoenas, depositions, and requests for production.
- Settlement: Once the discovery phase is over, both parties are encouraged to come to a settlement. If the parties are unable to reach a settlement (as is the case in many contested divorces), your Irvine contested divorce lawyer will bring your case to trial.
- Trial: Divorce proceedings are similar to other civil proceedings in that the parties make opening and closing statements, witnesses are called, and evidence is presented. At the conclusion of the trial, the judge will issue a judgment that settles the disputed issues as he or she believes the law requires. The judge’s order may or may not be to the liking of one or both sides.
At the conclusion of the trial, each party may appeal the court’s ruling.
What Leads to Contested Divorces?
Contested divorces generally are the result of disagreements between the parties on issues of fact or law, but they can also arise when one or both of the parties is simply being unreasonable or wants to make the process difficult for the other party. Our Irvine contested divorce attorney can tell you that these divorces most frequently revolve around one or more of the following issues:
They are also more common among high-net-worth couples due to the complexity of their finances and the significantly larger sums that are at stake.
Contact a Knowledgeable Irvine Contested Divorce Lawyer for Help
Contested divorces generally require more time and expense — not to mention stress — than uncontested divorces. If you are considering a divorce that may become contested, you should contact an Irvine contested divorce lawyer at Seastrom Tuttle & Murphy by using our online form or calling us at 949-474-0800.