Contested Divorce

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

Contact us today at (619) 304-0908 to schedule your consultation.

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.


We’re Ready to Help
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.
  • By submitting, you agree to be contacted about your request & other information using automated technology. Message frequency varies. Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to cancel. Acceptable Use Policy

Hear From Our Happy Clients

    "Best Family Lawyer in San Diego!"

    Vera Livingstone is hands down, the BEST family court lawyer out there. Words can't even express how overjoyed I am with her work. Going to court is a stressful process, especially if it's something you've never been through before. Vera, however, made everything so easy! I had just left a domestically abusive relationship and needed protection for both my newborn and I. Vera sprung into action an assisted me in retaining a restraining order. From here, she continued to impress me with her litigation skills and work ethic. Filing all paperwork and evidence to support my case right away. I was never left in the dark, she kept me updated on everything relating to court. When it came to presenting my case, I was left in complete shock. Vera is a BEAST in the courtroom. Not only does she have a good rapport with the court but her professionalism and ability to think quick on her feet was impressive. In addition to this, the way she fought for my son and I. Truly, I was left in complete amazement. Never in my life, have I've witnessed anyone defend and protect me as well as Vera did. She put my mind at ease and gave me a sense of confidence throughout this whole process. I got everything I wanted! I couldn't have done any of this without the help of Vera Livingstone. I highly recommend that everyone hire her to be their lawyer. I promise, she will not disappoint.

    - Miranda
    "Nice and polite throughout my cases."

    Extremely happy with Vera's work. She has helped so much and has always been nice and polite throughout my cases.

    - Arturo
    "She is truly worth her weight in gold."

    She handled my dissolution case with class. She allowed me to be free of worries and stress by dealing with all the paperwork. She is truly worth her weight in gold. She is an excellent lawyer, and pushes for what is best for you and family. Amazing work and amazing legal team. Thank-you!

    - Kristabel
    "You simply will not find a more competent and compassionate lawyer than Vera."

    I am a licensed attorney who hired Vera to handle my own custody move-away case based on a referral from a friend. By the time Vera became involved, I had already received rulings that made my chances of prevailing at trial pretty slim. This did not deter Vera. She took my case, gave me hope, and showed me so much compassion. Vera spent the time to get up to speed, she made sense of all the evidence, and took her time getting to know me and the issues in the case. She was a fierce advocate in court, not only for me, but also for what was in the best interest of my son. She made sure my voice was heard. I ultimately prevailed at trial because of Vera's knowledge, skill, and experience in family law. I highly recommend Vera and owe her a great debt for what she was able to achieve for me and my son. As a lawyer myself and having met many lawyers, I feel confident in saying: you simply will not find a more competent and compassionate lawyer than Vera.

    - Alexa
    "She was compassionate about what I was going through."

    I hired Vera to deal with a very difficult situation that arose in my private life. From the beginning, I could tell that she had the necessary experience and toughness to deal with my case. At the same time, she was compassionate about what I was going through which really helped me to recover from a traumatic personal situation. I intend to hire her again next year to take care of another family law issue. Can’t recommend her highly enough

    - Previous Client
    "I would recommend her to anyone that needed a great lawyer."

    Great person and lawyer to use. Vera took over my case from another lawyer, fixed everything that wasn't right, and did everything needed to win my case. I would recommend her to anyone that needed a great lawyer.

    - John
    "She allowed me to ask questions and was very knowledgeable in her answers."

    I did an initial consultation with Vera, and she was extremely helpful! She was very well organized and gave me a great overview of some things I can expect with my separation. She allowed me to ask questions and was very knowledgable in her answers and provided helpful feedback. Her personality is a great fit, and she is definitely someone I will want to work with if needed through this situation. I feel way more informed and at ease after only talking to her once.

    - SY
    "I highly recommend her and her firm."

    Vera Livingstone handled my divorce situation with great care. She represented me well and managed the negotiations with great skill. I highly recommend her and her firm.

    - Fred