San Diego Contested Divorce Attorney
Ready to Protect Your Rights & Future
Going through a divorce is never easy, but when there are disagreements about major issues such as child custody, property division, and spousal support, it can become especially challenging. A contested divorce occurs when both parties cannot come to an agreement on one or more of these issues, and it often requires the assistance of an experienced family law attorney.
At Livingstone Law, APC, we understand the emotional and financial toll that a contested divorce can take on our clients. We are committed to providing compassionate and effective legal representation to help our clients navigate this difficult process.
We offer a range of services to help our clients through the contested divorce process, including:
- Legal representation in court hearings and trials
- Negotiation and mediation services to help clients reach a settlement
- Assistance with discovery and gathering evidence
- Advice and guidance on child custody, property division, and spousal support issues
What is a Contested Divorce in California?
In California, a contested divorce refers to a legal process in which spouses cannot reach an agreement on one or more issues related to their divorce. It is the opposite of an uncontested divorce, where both spouses agree on all aspects of the divorce settlement.
In a contested divorce, disagreements typically arise over matters such as child custody and visitation, division of assets and debts, spousal support (alimony), child support, and other related issues. When the spouses are unable to come to an agreement on these matters, they must go through a court process to resolve their disputes.
Here are the general steps involved in a contested divorce in California:
- Filing the Petition: One spouse, known as the petitioner, initiates the divorce by filing a petition with the court. The petition states the grounds for divorce, which in California is "irreconcilable differences."
- Response: The other spouse, known as the respondent, is served with the divorce papers and has a specified period (usually 30 days) to file a response to the petition, either agreeing or disagreeing with the issues raised.
- Discovery: Both spouses exchange relevant information and documents regarding assets, debts, income, and other matters. This process allows each side to gather evidence and understand the complete financial picture of the marriage.
- Negotiations and Mediation: The spouses, with or without their attorneys, attempt to negotiate a settlement agreement. They may also choose to participate in mediation, where a neutral third party helps facilitate discussions and encourages compromises.
- Pretrial Conference: If a settlement is not reached, the court holds a pretrial conference to identify the contested issues, explore the potential for settlement, and set a trial date.
- Trial: In a contested divorce, a judge hears both sides' arguments, reviews evidence, and makes decisions regarding unresolved issues. The judge's decisions are legally binding and become the terms of the divorce decree.
- Post-Trial Motions and Appeals: After the trial, either party may file post-trial motions or appeal the court's decisions if they believe errors were made during the proceedings.
Let Our Contested Divorce in San Diego Help You Today
If you are facing a contested divorce, don't go through it alone. Contact Livingstone Law, APC today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced family law attorneys. We are here to help you navigate this challenging time and achieve the best possible outcome for you and your family.
Our team of experienced family lawyers has a deep understanding of California divorce law and court procedures. We work closely with our clients to develop a strategy tailored to their unique situation and goals.
Contact us today to learn how we can help you start a new chapter in your life.