Helping Men Navigate Through a Contested Divorce
Divorce is a challenging experience for couples no matter what the circumstances are. However, some splits are certainly easier than others. The ideal scenario is one in which both parties agree that it is time to part ways and choose to do so amicably. Unfortunately, this isn’t often the case. Emotions are high surrounding the breakdown of a relationship and it is not unusual for you to find that you and your spouse disagree on some fundamental points of your divorce. This leads to what we call a contested divorce.
Disagreements in the process can cause a significant amount of disruption. Divorce causes turbulence in the best of circumstances and when contested it can drag out the discomfort and strained emotions for much longer than is necessary. Not to mention that a longer divorce contest tends to be more costly and complex. Perhaps above all else, it can prevent you and your spouse from moving on with your lives and building a positive future.
Overcoming the obstacles of a contested divorce and negotiating successfully with your spouse benefits from some professional guidance. A family law attorney well-versed in both the nuances of contested divorces and the details of the local courts system can help to make sure you can make it through the process faster and with a fairer outcome. As the well-known divorce lawyers for men in Tampa, FL, In Law We Trust Divorce and Family Lawyers should be your very first call. Since 2014, the law firm of In Law We Trust Divorce and Family Lawyers, has been annually selected by the National Trial Lawyers of America as one of the Top 40 under 40 in Florida which is a professional organization by invitation only, composed of the top trial lawyers from each state or region who are under the age of 40. We’ve also been a featured member of The National Academy of Family Law Attorneys since 2019, as well as included in Super Lawyers each year since 2017. Our firm has a deep understanding of strategies and tools to navigate the hurdles of a contested divorce and are dedicated to making sure you see a fair outcome.
The Reasons to Contest a Divorce
The first thing to understand is that a contested divorce does not refer to whether one spouse disagrees with granting a divorce. Florida is a “no fault” state and as such if only one party wants a divorce, that is enough for the courts to grant it. In this state, a contested divorce refers to elements that can derail a smooth divorce case.
Very few people want to go through a messy divorce process. It’s much faster and cheaper if everyone works to make sure things run smoothly. While there are definitely circumstances in which a spouse will contest a divorce out of malice, this isn’t usually the case. In most instances, a contested divorce is the result of one or both parties disagreeing on the substance of some aspect of the final agreement that they consider to be unfair, incorrect, or harmful in some way. Understanding what these are can be essential to both preparing documents with your divorce attorney and formalizing the most appropriate ways to address them.
The most common issues include:
Asset and Debt Division
You might think that the division of assets and debts is a simple matter of an equal provision of both. However, it’s one of the more hotly contested elements of the divorce process. Property and debts are split into two categories — community (meaning shared) and separate — and each can be subject to disagreements throughout the discovery stage of a divorce case. It may be that your spouse argues that the success of your business was in some way influenced by them. They might claim that while you purchased your home prior to the divorce, they made a contribution that added to its value. This can be a particularly complex part of a contested divorce and In Law We Trust Divorce and Family Lawyers family law attorneys have access to knowledge, valuers, and forensic accounting experts that can help you overcome these obstacles.
No parent wants their child to suffer as a result of their divorce. However, children are too often victims of the bad blood between divorcing parents when it comes to custody. This is another way in which a divorce can become contested — usually in that either parent is pushing for a greater degree of custody than is considered fair. It can also be the case that one parent wants to move out of the city, state, or even country with the children against the wishes of the other parent in the equation. Even though it’s possible for fathers to get custody, they are most often the party that has to fight to maintain a fair relationship with their children, as Florida courts have a tendency to demonstrate bias in favor of mothers in matters of custody. This is why it is so important that you collaborate with a family law attorney that has experience in representing fathers in establishing a fair division of custody.
Child Support and Alimony
It is only right that both parents have equal responsibility to provide for their children. The Florida system takes this view, too, and tends to base child support payments on the shared income of both parents and an equal division down the middle, or apportioned according to overnight stays with each parent. However, if there is a disagreement about the amount of child support being paid or a prior support agreement being questioned, this can lead to contested divorce proceedings. Most commonly, though, is a disagreement in the amount of spousal support — otherwise known as alimony — will be paid by the higher earning spouse and for how long.
Pre- or Post-Nuptial Agreements
For the most part, prenups and postnups are a relatively straightforward matter. Indeed, they are intended to make the divorce process run smoother as both parties have agreed to certain terms well in advance of a possible split. However, this can develop into a cause for contested divorce if your spouse claims that the agreement was invalid. There are various ways that an agreement can be determined void by the courts; if it was made through coercion, if it wasn’t subject to legal representation, or even that your spouse feels that salient information was kept from them at the time. This can become a complex matter and significantly lengthen the time it takes to finalize a divorce unless you are working with an attorney that has the experiences and resources to successfully counter these claims.
Overcoming the Challenges of Disagreements
While a contested divorce is a frustrating experience, that’s not to say that it is insurmountable. Too many men in this scenario simply agree to new terms in the favor of their spouse for a quick resolution. Not to mention that when not represented by an attorney with experience in this area, it can be common for the notoriously biased court system to rule in favor of your spouse. Collaborating with an aggressive and committed In Law We Trust Divorce and Family Lawyers attorney helps to make certain that you have the knowledge, negotiating skills, and tools you need to help you move past the obstacles of a contested divorce.
Whenever possible, this takes place outside of the courtroom. Mediation between both parties and their legal representatives is usually the preferable, most cost effective, and less stressful route to overcoming a contested divorce. Your attorney will make preparations based on the goals for your divorce that you will have already discussed and develop a sophisticated strategy that is driven by their in-depth understanding of the nuances of the divorce process. A mediation is also usually preferable for both parties as it tends to be faster. You could be waiting in excess of 6 months for a court date to become available, whereas a mediation that is guided by professionals in a conference room can take a matter of weeks.
However, if your spouse continues to make unreasonable and unfair demands that derail the divorce process, it may be necessary to bring the Tampa courts system into play. In Law We Trust Divorce and Family Lawyers attorneys have the experience to know exactly what information and evidence the courts are likely to be looking for in these scenarios and have the resources to provide you with the most appropriate representation. While a judge will make the final and legal decision about division about the terms of your divorce, your team of family law attorneys will apply their expertise in making sure that you have the best chance of success.
Finding Solutions in Contested Divorces for Men in Tampa
There are various aspects of a separation that can lead to the terms of your divorce being contested by your spouse. The important thing is to make sure that this is handled by experienced counsel that can arrange fair negotiations and get the ball rolling again. When you call us to begin your divorce representation, you are gaining the expertise and commitment of highly skilled individuals that can find the right solutions for men’s divorce cases. We will promptly review the details of the case and provide you with the knowledge and resources you need throughout mediation and, if necessary, court dates. In Law We Trust Divorce and Family Lawyers is a firm renowned for care and expertise in contested divorces for men. We will work hard to make sure you can move on with your life and achieve fair terms.