Few people think about the possibility of divorce when they decide to get married. Unfortunately, love can fade or other issues can come up that break down a marriage and lead to divorce.

Divorces can be fairly quick and painless if the parties are amicable and agree on all the terms of the settlement. However, it’s rare that there’s full agreement between divorcing spouses, at least at first. Many divorcing couples require mediation to reach an agreement in the divorce proceedings.

Occasionally, a contested divorce might be necessary. Here’s what that means and how it affects the divorce process.

What Defines a Contested Divorce?

Uncontested divorces are the simplest kind of divorce. When both parties agree on issues like the division of property, child custody, and support payments, the process should go smoothly.

A contested divorce, however, is any divorce that involves one or more disagreements between the divorcing parties. Minor disagreements can usually be worked out through simple discussions, compromise, and/or mediation.

However, some disagreements are major enough to warrant a contested divorce. In a contested divorce, the court will decide what is fair, based on a variety of factors and evidence.

When Would You Need a Contested Divorce?

It’s not always bad to decide on a contested divorce. It’s definitely easier and cheaper to have an uncontested divorce, but it’s not always possible or advisable to make concessions just to reach an agreement. Some situations that might call for a contested divorce include:

  • Child custody disagreements, especially when the safety and well-being of the children are in question
  • Concealed assets that were hidden during the marriage
  • Abuse and/or narcissism
  • Unfair expectations or inability to compromise

When dealing with these issues informally or through mediation fails, court intervention is necessary. This can be a long process, so it’s important to prepare for the realities of a contested divorce when deciding how to proceed.

Should You File for a Contested Divorce?

If your spouse is not willing to work with you on important issues, you should consider a contested divorce. You deserve fair terms and no one should get away with bullying you into an agreement that leaves you in a bad financial or personal situation.

To learn more about your divorce options, it’s important to speak with an experienced divorce and family law attorney. An attorney can help you decide if a contested divorce is the right choice for you and provide guidance throughout the process. They will also represent you in court.

If you’re ready to discuss your divorce with experienced legal counsel, give our Birmingham, Alabama law firm a call at (205) 858-9224. Our compassionate divorce lawyers can help you deal with the problems you’re facing and move on with your life.