Morris County Contested Divorce Lawyer
If you have decided to end your marriage, you may discover that you and your spouse cannot agree on child custody, alimony, or division of assets and liabilities. This means that your divorce will be contested and you may have to go through additional legal proceedings. While it is true that some contested divorces are brutal legal battles, others might be resolved quickly with the aid of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms such as mediation or arbitration.
Consider contacting a Morris County contested divorce lawyer today for information on how to proceed forward with your divorce. If there is disagreement over one or more vital issues, you likely want to seek representation from a family law attorney who is skilled at handling contested divorce cases. A divorce lawyer could clarify your questions and explain how their services could help you achieve the best possible outcome when ending your marriage.
Contested Divorce Explained
The generally accepted definition of a contested divorce is one in which the couple is unable to agree on one or more important issues. Sometimes this leads to significant court intervention, though not always. A contested divorce may involve disagreements with regarding:
Ending a marriage when there are minor children involved can be a very emotional process. This is often particularly true if there are allegations of substance abuse or other dangerous behaviors that could cast doubt on one spouse’s parenting abilities. A Morris County contested divorce lawyer could be a key ally in a custody battle, leveraging their experience with the custody process to fight on behalf of the children.
Another issue that frequently crops up in contested divorce cases is how to properly calculate alimony. Unfortunately, many divorcing spouses hide assets in an attempt to shield them from division and distribution. This type of behavior often occurs in high net-worth divorces where there is a lot at stake for both spouses financially.
Division of Assets & Liabilities
One of the most contentious parts of a divorce is often the task of dividing marital property. As with alimony, dividing marital property in a fair way could be hindered by a spouse who is concealing assets. In these situations, a Morris County contested divorce lawyer could hire an outside expert such as a forensic accountant to locate and value any assets the other spouse might be trying to obscure.
Early Settlement Panels
In New Jersey, all spouses involved in a contested divorce must first attempt to settle their differences at an early settlement panel, or ESP. This mandatory court appearance takes place after both sides have fully and honestly disclosed their financial information with one another. The ESP hearing is designed to help the parties come to agreement on financial matters only while other important issues like child custody and parenting time are addressed separately.
After a panel of two to three volunteer matrimonial lawyers hears the arguments of both sides and asks follow-up questions, the panel will deliberate in private and subsequently present its recommendations to the parties. At that point, one or both parties may fully accept the panel’s recommendations, partially accept its recommendations, or fully reject them. After a full rejection, the spouses must begin pursuing other dispute settlement options such as trial.
Speak to a Morris County Contested Divorce Attorney Today
Just because your divorce is contested does not necessarily mean it must be drawn out and astronomically expensive. As long as you and your spouse are willing to compromise and negotiate with one another in good faith, there should be no reason a divorce settlement cannot be reached in a timely manner. Contact a Morris contested divorce lawyer today for information on the best path forward for your case.