Divorce is never easy, but contested divorces are that much more challenging. Divorce is the dissolution of a legal contract, and finalizing your divorce requires that you and your divorcing spouse resolve the terms that apply in your situation. If – after exhausting your negotiation options – you are unable to resolve one or more of these terms and require the court to intervene on your behalf, your divorce is contested, and you need an experienced contested divorce lawyer in Norfolk on your side.
While your divorce will reflect the unique circumstances involved, the terms that you and your divorcing spouse will need to resolve include (as applicable):
If any one of these becomes a sticking point for which you and your soon-to-ex are unable to negotiate further, the court will make the determination on your behalf. Let’s take a closer look at each.
Child custody breaks down into legal custody, which addresses the matter of who will be making important parenting decisions on behalf of your children, and physical custody, which addresses the matter of how you and your children’s other parent will divide your parenting time. While you have considerable scheduling flexibility, you’ll likely receive one of the court’s standard visitation schedules if you and your ex are unable to find common ground regarding your child custody arrangements (making your divorce contested). It is important to note that child custody ranks as one of the most hotly contested divorce terms.
Child support is designed to ensure that both parents continue to support their children financially, and it is calculated according to state guidelines. The court has the discretion, however, to work outside these parameters if the situation calls for it.
Those assets that you and your spouse acquired while you were married represent your marital property, and upon divorce, these assets – as offset by the debt you acquired as a married couple – must be divided between you equitably, which amounts to fairly given the relevant circumstances. This division of assets has the potential to make an otherwise placid divorce hotly contested.
Alimony is reserved for those situations in which divorce leaves one spouse with a financial disadvantage while the other has the separate financial means to help. Alimony is generally intended to help the recipient gain financial independence by seeking further education and/or job training.
If your divorce is contested, it means that there is at least one divorce term that you and your divorcing spouse are unable to resolve between yourselves and that you need the court to weigh in on the matter. The formidable contested-divorce lawyers at Mahoney Richmond Thurston PLLC, in Norfolk have a wealth of impressive experience skillfully guiding cases like yours toward optimal outcomes, and we’re here for you, too. To learn more, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.