Contested divorces are divorces where the parties to the divorce cannot agree on the terms of a divorce. Financial issues, issues of spousal support and issues of child custody are typical types of issues that keep the divorce in a contested mode. In many instances, attempts will be made by the parties themselves or through their lawyers to settle the issues involved in a divorce prior to the time a lawsuit is started. In the event the parties cannot resolve the issues between them, one party or the other may start a lawsuit against the other party seeking a divorce. The other party will have a fixed time to respond. They also may assert a counterclaim against the party that started the divorce proceeding in court. The divorce proceeding in court becomes contested when the party that has been sued serves an answer which denies the claims against them. They are contesting the claims.

The parties to a contested divorce case in New York will conduct what is known as discovery, in which they obtain information, documents and other items from their adversary. The discovery process takes place by the use of various methods and can be a time consuming process. Professional appraisals may be undertaken of property identified in the discovery process.

While the case is pending, one party or the other may seek relief from the court, such as an order from the court directing the other party to pay them maintenance or child support payments. Issues of child custody also may be brought before the court while the case is pending.

Contested divorces sometimes settle during the course of the legal proceeding, bringing about an end to the litigation and resulting in the divorce of the parties. In this situation, there usually would be, among other things, a written agreement which sets forth the terms of the settlement between the parties.

Please note that individuals contemplating a divorce should obtain legal advice from an attorney pertaining to their own situation. This is because each case involves legal issues and considerations that are specific to that particular case.

Practice Areas

Contested Divorce Uncontested Divorce Property Distribution Spousal Support

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