Did you know that UN statistics on divorce suggest the US has the third-highest divorce rate in the world?
That means there’s a high chance you or someone you know will go through a divorce at some point. And while divorces can be tough, contested divorces take the cake for being the most emotionally and financially draining.
So when do you need to hire a contested divorce attorney? In this article, we’ll explore nine signs that indicate it’s time to seek legal counsel. Whether you’re contemplating filing for a contested divorce or have been served with papers, these signs can help guide your decision.
1. You and Your Spouse are Unable to Reach an Agreement
When filing for divorce, consensus on crucial matters like child custody, spousal support, asset, and debt division often proves elusive. In such cases, a contested divorce may be the only viable option.
If your discussions are regularly escalating into heated arguments, or if every conversation about division seems to end in a stalemate, this is a telling sign that you need a professional to intervene.
An experienced contested divorce attorney can provide the legal guidance and representation you need. They will advocate for your interests, helping you to navigate the often intricate and emotionally charged negotiations.
Ultimately, your attorney’s goal will be to reach a fair and equitable resolution that respects your rights and those of your children, if any. If you and your spouse have reached an impasse, it’s time to bring in a divorce attorney.
2. Your Spouse Has Hired an Attorney
Divorces are never easy, and they can quickly turn into a battle when one party involves a legal professional. If your spouse has hired a contested divorce attorney, it’s vital that you do the same.
An experienced attorney can level the playing field and protect your rights during negotiations and court proceedings. They can also ensure that your spouse’s lawyer doesn’t take advantage of any legal loopholes or intimidate you into conceding more than you should.
3. You Have Children
Child custody is often the most contentious issue in a divorce, and it becomes even more complicated in a contested divorce. If you have children with your spouse, you’ll need an attorney who specializes in family law and has experience handling contested divorces.
They can assist you in negotiating a custody arrangement that is in the best interests of your children and represents your desires as well. They can also help you navigate issues like child support and visitation rights. This ensures that your children’s well-being remains a top priority throughout the divorce process.
4. There are Significant Assets at Stake
In a contested divorce, the division of assets can be a major point of contention. This is especially true if you and your spouse have accumulated significant assets during your marriage.
An experienced attorney can help ensure that all assets are accounted for and fairly divided. They can also assist in valuing any complex or high-value assets, such as investments, businesses, or real estate. With their legal expertise, you can be confident that you are receiving your fair share of the marital assets.
5. Your Spouse Has Hidden Assets
In some contested divorces, one spouse may try to conceal assets in an attempt to keep them from being divided during the divorce proceedings. This is illegal and unethical, but unfortunately, it does happen.
If you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets, it’s crucial to hire an attorney who can investigate and uncover any hidden assets. They can then ensure that these assets are properly accounted for and divided during the divorce.
6. Your Spouse Has a History of Abuse or Manipulation
If you are divorcing a spouse who has a history of abuse, manipulation, or control, it’s crucial to have an experienced attorney by your side. Such behaviors can escalate during the divorce process. This makes it even more challenging to reach a fair and peaceful resolution.
Divorce lawyers can help protect you from any further abuse or manipulation. They can also advocate for your rights and best interests. They may also be able to obtain a restraining order if necessary.
7. You Don’t Feel Comfortable Representing Yourself in Court
Lastly, if you don’t feel confident or comfortable representing yourself in court, it’s time to hire a contested divorce attorney. Divorce proceedings can be complex and overwhelming, especially when emotions are running high.
An experienced attorney can handle all the legal aspects and represent you in court. This allows you to focus on your emotional well-being and prioritize your own needs during this difficult time.
8. The Division of Debts is Complicated
The division of debts in a divorce can be as contentious as the division of assets. If you and your spouse have significant joint debts, like mortgages or credit cards, an attorney can help navigate the complex process of fairly dividing these liabilities.
They can also assist in ensuring that you are not unfairly burdened with any debts that should be the responsibility of your spouse. With an attorney’s guidance, you can avoid any potential financial pitfalls. You can start your post-divorce life on the right foot.
9. There’s a Prenuptial Agreement in Place
If you and your spouse signed a prenuptial agreement before getting married, it could significantly affect the outcome of your divorce. A divorce lawyer can review this agreement.
They can ensure that it is enforced fairly and appropriately during the divorce proceedings. They can also assist in negotiating any changes or amendments to the agreement if necessary.
Contested Divorce Attorney: Achieving a Positive Outcome
Getting a divorce can be emotionally and financially draining. Hiring an experienced contested divorce attorney can help ease some of the stress and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process. If you’re experiencing any of these signs, it’s time to seek legal representation and get the support you need.
Don’t go through a contested divorce alone – let an attorney guide you toward a fair and equitable resolution. Remember, your future is at stake, and hiring an experienced attorney can make all the difference in achieving a positive outcome.
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