Contested Divorce Attorney Jacksonville
Suppose you are beginning the process of a divorce in Florida, and it seems that you will end up in court with a contested divorce. In that case, you must contact an experienced divorce lawyer in Jacksonville today. While any divorce can be complicated and sometimes messy, a contested divorce will require a lot of legal work in and out of court to move towards a good outcome. In a contested divorce, there will be many details that you and your spouse disagree on, and you must be confident in your legal representation to protect your interests and fight for what you deserve. Contact me, Attorney Antonio Jimenez, today to discuss your divorce and my experience as a family law attorney in Florida.
What Is a Contested Divorce?
In a Florida divorce, you mostly have two options, contested divorce or an uncontested divorce. If you file for an uncontested divorce, both spouses agree on the terms of the divorce and file their divorce in a family court. If this is not the case, then the spouses must go through a contested divorce. A contested divorce means that the terms of the divorce may be determined at final hearing (trial), and contested divorces are by far the most complicated option.
What Is the Process of a Contested Divorce?
A contested divorce is not guaranteed to follow this process correctly, and you will have a better understanding of what to expect for your divorce after working with a family law attorney. However, generally, the process of a contested divorce will consist of the following steps:
Serving the Divorce Papers
Before the process officially begins, you will work with your attorney to draft, finalize, and ultimately serve the divorce papers on your spouse. You will then need to wait at least 20 days for your spouse to respond, at which point we can officially begin the divorce.
In discovery, there will be an extended period of time where you, your spouse, and any associated third parties will need to produce an extensive amount of documentation and information pertinent to the divorce. Discovery could include responding to subpoenas, completing written interviews, or attending depositions.
After discovery is finished, you will work with me to develop your case and identify possible roadblocks that might hinder your ability to prevail in court and work to build the argument supporting the various terms you are requesting in the divorce. There will also be motions submitted from both sides requesting additional information or hearings to clarify the marriage and divorce nature.
Once discovery is complete, we will then proceed to mediation. At mediation, we begin the negotiation process to reach a middle ground between what you think is fair, and what your spouse thinks is fair. Ideally, you will reach an agreement at this stage of the process instead of going to a full hearing. If you are unable to settle, then your case will go to trial.
In the unlikely event, we do not settle at mediation, we will then proceed to trial. I will prepare for your trial to get you the most, if not all, of what you are entitled to from your settlement proposal. I will create an argument to present to a judge why we believe your proposal is fair.
The Contested Hearing
Throughout the hearing, I will argue on your behalf to ensure that you are given a fair ruling from the judge. At the end of the trial, the judge will make a legally binding ruling and settle all issues of your divorce. At this point, the divorce is considered final, unless there is a portion of the judge’s ruling that is appealable.
I CAN REPRESENT YOU IN A CONTESTED DIVORCE
If you are in the process of or planning to begin a contested divorce, contact my office as soon as possible to discuss how I can help. During your initial consultation, I will learn more about your situation, explain my approach to contested divorces, and identify the best outcomes that we can work together to obtain. My experience as a family lawyer in Jacksonville will be a great asset to you, and I look forward to working together.