A contested divorce occurs when spouses cannot agree on asset division or child custody. Divorce is hard enough, and the very nature of breaking up leads to emotionally-driven decisions and spiteful behavior.
However, it is in your best interest to work with your spouse to end a divorce amicably. This article details a few guidelines for working through a contested divorce, so both you and your spouse can move on with your lives.
Hire a mediator
Couples with minimal assets are less likely to experience disagreements during the divorce process. Issues usually arise when there are large amounts of property to divide and children to take care of. Sometimes your best option is to hire a mediator. They take a detailed inventory of your marital assets and parenting arrangements and help you agree with your spouse.
Find the right attorney
If you suspect a contested divorce, be proactive and hire an experienced attorney. Your attorney should work with your best interest in mind and point out any irregularities during the mediation proceedings.
Know your state’s property division laws
Create a detailed list of your assets. Texas is a community property state, while Arkansas practices equitable distribution. The specific laws in your state have a significant impact on how your marital property division plays out, so do your research and know what to expect.
Sometimes a contested divorce is unavoidable. No matter how contentious the relationship is, try to maintain contact with your spouse during the process. You must try to remain cordial during the proceedings, so that perceived character flaws do not affect the judge’s or mediator’s decision.