Lewisville Contested Divorce Attorneys
Divorce is becoming fairly regular in the U.S., with over 50% of all marriages ending in divorce. While many, over 90%, of marriages end without legal battles between spouses, other marriages involve disputes between spouses. These disputes can deter the conclusion of a divorce, causing the spouses to go through what is known as a “contested divorce.” In a contested divorce, spouses are unable to reach an agreement on one or more divorce terms, and they will need some kind of legal intervention in order to finalize their divorce.
If you and your spouse are going through a divorce and you cannot agree on settlement terms, contact an experienced Lewisville contested divorce attorney of Alexander & Associates today at (972) 420-6560. Our legal team has a wealth of experience and knowledge, allowing us to help guide you through your divorce adeptly and with as little frustration as possible.
Why You Need a Lawyer
Contested divorces typically end in one of two ways: either both spouses agree to settle their differences after negotiations, or the matter is brought before a judge or jury. Either method will set off a complicated series of legal actions, including counterpetitions, “divorce discovery,” and various pre-trial motions and hearings. These different stages are time-consuming but important – and if you approach them without a lawyer, you will put yourself at a serious disadvantage.
Whether achieved by negotiations or court order, the terms of a divorce agreement will have a lasting impact on your life. They may determine how often you can see your children, how much money you have to pay your spouse, and what property you can keep. The stakes are high: once a divorce agreement is signed, it can be almost impossible to modify or undo.
Because of this, professional legal advice is essential for anyone facing a contested divorce. Your spouse may attempt to hide assets, destroy property, or misrepresent your home life in order to get a better deal. A good divorce lawyer will gather the necessary information about your home and financial life to ensure this doesn’t happen.
Why Choose Us
At Alexander & Associates, we understand the stress and frustration that comes with prolonged divorce negotiations. That’s why our legal team prioritizes efficient, proactive negotiations, with a focus on a quick resolution of your dispute.
One way we achieve this is by limiting the amount of clients we take on, ensuring that each client gets the time and personalized attention they deserve. We also maintain a constant line of communication with those we represent. Our divorce lawyers will always promptly return your phone calls and emails, and keep you informed about every step of your case.
If you choose to consult Alexander & Associates, you can expect a firm, compassionate defense of your interests. Contested divorces are always difficult, but a good divorce lawyer can help you navigate this experience as painlessly and effectively as possible. Our goal is to help settle you and your spouse’s differences through skilled negotiation – not drag them out in an expensive trial.
Our legal team at Alexander & Associates is proud to help Lewisville residents put a quick and satisfactory end to unsatisfactory marriages. Call (972) 420-6560 today to see how our experienced lawyers can help settle your divorce.
Commonly Disputed Issues
While each divorce is unique, and couples may have to deal with certain issues that not all other couples do, there are a number of common issues that tend to arise as problems in contested divorces. Several of these commonly disputed issues include:
- Child Support Payments
- Child Visitation
- Alimony / Spousal Support
- Division of Debts
- Division of Property / Assets
- Domestic Violence Issues
- Paternity Testing
Whether these are the issues you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse cannot agree upon or you are facing other issues, it is likely to be extremely frustrating and upsetting. Our legal team understands this and wants to use our skills to help you resolve these issues as soon as possible.
How Contested Divorces Work
If you and your spouse cannot agree on even one issue, you will find yourselves facing a contested divorce. As you would expect, these are generally more time consuming and complicated than uncontested divorces. However, some may still be resolved more quickly and affordable than others.
Because of this, the following steps provide only a general sketch of what your divorce might look like. Some parts of the process will happen in all divorces, like filing an Original Petition. Other parts, like a divorce trial, are extremely rare.
These are the general steps of a contested divorce:
Petition Filing & Service: The divorce process formally starts when one spouse files what’s called an Original Petition. This contains information about the state of your marriage, whether the filer is requesting a fault or no-fault divorce, and how they would like to see things like custody or property distribution resolved.
The law requires the other spouse to respond to the Original Petition within 20 days of receiving it. They can choose to try to negotiate a settlement at this point, file an answer to the petition rejecting its claims, or even file a counterpetition making allegations of their own. At this point – and throughout the process – the spouses and their lawyers still have an opportunity to negotiate an agreement between themselves.
Temporary Orders Hearing: The temporary orders hearing is the first major legal event of the divorce process. Both spouses’ lawyers will appear in front of a judge, present evidence and even possibly witnesses.
At this point, the judge will determine a number of important things, including child custody, access to credit cards, and living arrangements, for the duration of the divorce process. Because contested divorces can take up to a year, it is particularly important to have a firm and prepared lawyer on your side during this hearing.
Negotiation & Mediation: Often judges will require that both spouses attend some kind of mediation process. These can be very formal, with a mediation attorney serving as a go-between among you and your spouse. Or they can simply involve ongoing negotiation between you and your spouses’ attorneys. At Alexander & Associates, our divorce team strives to work toward a negotiated solution at all points of the legal process.
Most contested divorces still end in some settlement. However, if you and your spouse still cannot come to an agreement after this mediation, your divorce will move to its final stage – a formal orders hearing.
Formal Orders Hearing: Very few contested divorces actually get to this point, but it does happen. A formal orders hearing is effectively a trial, in which both you and your spouse’s lawyers will present evidence, examine and cross-examine witnesses, and argue for the outcome you’re hoping for.
Texas is one of the only states that allows juries to hear divorce cases, but this is still very rare – one spouse has to specifically request a jury trial for it to happen. Because of this, most formal orders hearings in Texas are decided by a judge.
The divorce process formally ends when the judge issues a Final Decree of Divorce. This will provide a final decision on all disputed matters, from child custody and visitation to the division of property.
If you or someone you know is going through a contested divorce and you want to know more about how to quickly finalize your divorce, contact an experienced Lewisville contested divorce lawyer of Alexander & Associates today by calling (972) 420-6560. Just because contested divorces can end in a trial doesn’t mean they have to. Our legal team is committed to making a difficult process as easy an inexpensive for our clients as possible.