Divorce cases seem to be common especially in Canada despite people having a lot of knowledge in preventing divorce. There are many reasons why spouses choose to divorce. These reasons vary from couple to couple. Some of them include a lack of interest to one another, constant cruelty or infidelity. When a divorce occurs, there are many things to be divided among the couple including properties, assets, and even liabilities. It becomes tough to decide who will receive which property, especially when both parties are not in agreement. The fact is that most of the time when spouses want to separate, they don’t agree on their elements of separation. But to deal with a contested divorce and be successful, you must understand the steps involved.
What is Contested Divorce?
A contested divorce means that a couple is not agreeing to any essential term regarding the divorce. This can be further broken down into two things. One is when one party is not wiling the divorce to take place and argues that the other party doesn’t have valid reasons for divorce. The other one is that both parties want the divorce, but for whatever reason, they are not coming into agreement on how they should divide their properties, liabilities, or even children. In such cases, the court can have a hearing that will determine the temporary orders. One of the main disadvantages of a contested divorce is that it may take a long time to finalize. Not forgetting that bills are waiting to be paid, and some kids need attention. This is the mere reason why the court gives temporary orders to ensure that nothing is neglected as the divorce process goes on. The process of filing for a contested divorce is more complicated and the only thing that makes it sound easier could be the use of mediation and arbitration. These are the most common alternative dispute resolution methods that have proved to help in contested divorces. Worse enough, if the plans don’t work for the couple, they can only proceed to trial.
Steps Involved In A Contested Divorce
- Interviewing and hiring a lawyer: With a contested divorce, you need to find a divorce lawyer in Toronto who understands the technicalities of family law. It would help if you had an initial consultation with few lawyers to decide who will suit you. During the interview, the lawyer will gather all the necessary information to make your divorce successful. At this point, the lawyer also has the chance to determine what you’re entitled to. Typically, a divorce case involves a lot of paperwork; you will be required to gather all the necessary documents. You also have a chance to ask the lawyer some questions regarding the divorce petition. This could include child support, property division or liabilities.
- The petition: Once you have hired your best lawyer, he/she will help you file a divorce petition in court. The lawyer will serve your spouse with the petition, either through mail or in person.
- Petition response: You have to make sure that your spouse responds to the petition within 30 days. If this doesn’t happen, the case may proceed on to the discovery or settlement process
- Divorce discovery: You need to obtain detailed legal information from your spouse. This may be in form of written questions or even depositions.
- Settlement proposals: Your lawyer can help you negotiate the unresolved issues in case you don’t agree. Likewise, the judge may order the couple’s mediation if you’re not coming into an agreement.
- Trial: If settlement fails, the only thing you can do is to prepare for trial. The judge comes up with the decision of the case. Time taken depends on the complexity of the case at hand. During this time, your lawyer may provide witnesses.
- Appeal: If you and your lawyer feel that the judge’s ruling was unfair, you may seek an appeal. Your spouse will then have 30 days to file their response. If the case is affirmed, divorce becomes finalized and life continues. If peradventure the case is reversed, it’s always sent back to court for further proceedings.
Are You Looking for A Divorce Lawyer
If both of you can’t agree, you should hire a divorce mediator to help protect your rights. An experienced divorce is far better positioned to inform you about your legal rights and ensure you’re fully protected. Most of them offer a free consultation to discuss the best options or opinions for your case. This ensures you save time and money. Remember, you have to choose the best family law family lawyer since not every lawyer can make the divorce process smooth. Look for a lawyer who has skills and experience. Research and referrals from friends will allow you to get that lawyer who will be available whenever you needed, and will have the ability to communicate well to represent your case with zeal.