The end of a marriage is a complex process, and it can be even more difficult when you and the other party are unable to negotiate terms on your settlement. If there are significant disputes remaining, and you are facing a contested divorce, it may be in your interests to learn more about how you can protect your long-term well-being. One way you can do this is by preparing ahead of time for your Washington divorce and learning what you can expect from the process.
A contested divorce is one in which the two parties are not able to agree on one or more issues. These are typically major issues on which there must be a resolution before the divorce is final. During a contested divorce, it is likely necessary that the two parties will have to go to court to present their cases, and the family court will make the final decision regarding the terms of their final agreement.
What happens during a contested divorce?
One of the first steps during a contested divorce is to seek to resolve any remaining issues through negotiations or other means. Two parties can be opposed and even have great animosity between them, and they may still be able to reach a reasonable agreement on certain matters. Some of the most common issues couples will need to resolve before they are able to finalize their divorce include:
- Child custody and visitation matters
- Spousal support and child support
- Property division and division of marital debt
If in-person, traditional negotiations are not successful, a divorcing couple may decide they want to pursue a resolution through other means of dispute resolution. However, there are times when the only way to finalize a divorce is through the litigation process. If this is the case, you have the right to fight for your desired outcome in the courtroom, tenaciously fighting for your best interests, parental rights, property interests and more.
Seeking long-term results
During a contested divorce, it is easy to become caught up in the emotions and frustration you may be currently feeling. While strong feelings are normal, it is in your interests to set those aside and focus on what will be best for you long-term, whether this is in the courtroom or around the negotiating table. Your goal, even during a contested divorce, is to secure terms that will allow you to have stability and security long-term.