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Woodland Hills Contested Divorce Attorney

Helping Families in the San Fernando Valley

If you and your spouse are unable to agree on the terms of your divorce, you may need to go to court to resolve your disputes. Nader & Woodcock, APLC can provide the compassionate and experienced legal counsel you need to guide you through the contested divorce process. We understand that going to court is stressful, but our Woodland Hills contested divorce lawyers are here to help you every step of the way.

Schedule a consultation with our team today!

How to File for a Contested Divorce

To file for a contested divorce, you will need to go through the same steps as an uncontested divorce. However, you will need to file additional paperwork to request a date for your divorce to be finalized in court.

How Does a Contested Divorce Work?

A contested divorce is a divorce in which the couple cannot agree on one or more important terms of their divorce. These terms include:

  • Property Division - How the couple's assets and debts will be divided.
  • Spousal Support - Whether one spouse will pay alimony to the other spouse and for how long.
  • Child Custody - With whom the children will live and how visitation will be arranged.
  • Child Support - How much money the noncustodial parent will pay to the custodial parent for the support of the children.

If a couple is unable to agree on one or more of these terms, the divorce is said to be "contested." Couples who cannot agree on the terms of their divorce will need to go to court to have a judge resolve their disputes.

What Are the Grounds for a Contested Divorce in California?

California is a no-fault divorce state. This means that you do not need to prove that your spouse did something wrong to file for divorce. Instead, you just need to show that you have "irreconcilable differences."

How Long Does a Contested Divorce Take?

How long a contested divorce will take depends on a number of factors, including:

  • How long it takes for you to file your initial divorce paperwork
  • How long it takes for your spouse to respond to your divorce filing
  • How long it takes for you and your spouse to reach an agreement on your divorce terms
  • How long it takes for your contested divorce to go to trial

In general, a contested divorce will take several months to complete. However, if your divorce goes to trial, it could take over a year to finalize your divorce.

At Nader & Woodcock, APLC, we understand that you want to finalize your divorce as quickly as possible. We will work diligently to help you negotiate a divorce settlement with your spouse. If we are unable to reach an agreement, we are prepared to represent you in court.

What Are the Stages of a Contested Divorce?

There are several stages of a contested divorce in California, including:

  • Filing the Petition for Dissolution - To initiate the divorce process, you will need to file a Petition for Dissolution with the court. This is a legal document that asks the court to end your marriage.
  • Serving Your Spouse - After you file your Petition for Dissolution, you will need to serve the paperwork on your spouse. This means that you will need to give your spouse a copy of the paperwork.
  • Your Spouse's Response - After you serve your spouse with the Petition for Dissolution, your spouse will need to file a response with the court. This is a legal document that responds to your Petition for Dissolution.
  • Discovery - In a contested divorce, you and your spouse will need to go through a process called "discovery." This is the process of exchanging information about your finances, property, and children.
  • Negotiation - After you and your spouse exchange information in discovery, you will need to negotiate the terms of your divorce.
  • Settlement Agreement - If you and your spouse reach an agreement on the terms of your divorce, you will need to draft a settlement agreement. This is a legal document that outlines the terms of your divorce.
  • Going to Trial - If you and your spouse are unable to reach an agreement on the terms of your divorce, you will need to go to court to have a judge resolve your disputes.
  • Judgment of Dissolution - After your divorce trial, the judge will issue a judgment of dissolution. This is a legal document that ends your marriage.

What Happens If a Spouse Doesn't Respond to Divorce Papers in California?

If your spouse does not respond to your divorce papers, you can still proceed with your divorce. However, you will need to follow certain steps to finalize your divorce.

Contact our firm to learn more about how to proceed with your divorce if your spouse does not respond to your divorce papers.

How to Prepare for a Contested Divorce

There are several steps you can take to prepare for a contested divorce, including:

  • Create a Budget - Divorce is expensive. By creating a budget, you can determine how much money you will need to pay for your divorce.
  • Open a Separate Bank Account - To protect your finances, you should open a separate bank account. You should also take your name off any joint bank accounts.
  • Cancel Joint Credit Cards - To protect your credit, you should cancel any joint credit cards. You should also take your name off any joint credit cards.
  • Start Saving Money - To pay for your divorce, you should start saving as much money as you can.
  • Make a List of Your Assets and Debts - To prepare for a contested divorce, you should make a list of all your assets and debts.
  • Make a List of Your Monthly Expenses - To prepare for a contested divorce, you should make a list of all your monthly expenses.
  • Make a List of Your Monthly Income - To prepare for a contested divorce, you should make a list of all your monthly income.
  • Get a Copy of Your Credit Report - To prepare for a contested divorce, you should get a copy of your credit report.
  • Get a Copy of Your Tax Returns - To prepare for a contested divorce, you should get a copy of your tax returns.
  • Get a Copy of Your Bank Statements - To prepare for a contested divorce, you should get a copy of your bank statements.
  • Get a Copy of Your Pay Stubs - To prepare for a contested divorce, you should get a copy of your pay stubs.

By following these tips, you can put yourself in the best position to achieve a favorable outcome in your contested divorce.

Can I Get a Contested Divorce Without a Lawyer?

While it is possible to get a contested divorce without a lawyer, it is not recommended. This is because the contested divorce process is complicated, and going to court is stressful. By hiring an experienced contested divorce lawyer, you can have peace of mind knowing that your rights and interests are being protected.

How to Choose a Contested Divorce Attorney

There are several factors you should consider when choosing a contested divorce attorney, including:

  • Experience - How many years of experience does the attorney have?
  • Reputation - What do past clients say about the attorney?
  • Success Rate - How many contested divorce cases has the attorney won?
  • Communication - Does the attorney return your calls and emails in a timely manner?
  • Trust - Do you trust the attorney to handle your contested divorce?

By considering these factors, you can find a contested divorce attorney who is right for you.

Get the Legal Help You Deserve

Going to court is stressful, but our contested divorce attorneys are here to help you every step of the way. today to schedule a consultation with our team.

Contact our firm to learn more about how to proceed with your divorce if your spouse does not respond to your divorce papers.

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