If you and your spouse agree on all the terms of a divorce, the entire process can be completed amicably and efficiently within a matter of weeks. However, it is common for two divorcing spouses to not be on the same page about various marital issues. These can include the division of marital assets, the provision of financial support, and when each party will have custody or visitation rights.
Fortunately, a Texarkana contested divorce lawyer might be able to help you resolve these disagreements without resorting to judicial intervention. Even if a court does eventually have to get involved, a dedicated divorce attorney could work to ensure the court’s final decision still respects your rights and best interests.
The early stages of the divorce process in Arkansas are more or less the same regardless of whether that divorce has contested or uncontested issues. The party or parties seeking divorce would still have to file a complaint with the clerk of the Circuit Court, pay a filing fee, and serve a Summons on their spouse, who has 30 days to respond to it.
Following this initial phase, the discovery stage is often much more intensive during a contested divorce. Both sides will want to collect as much evidence as possible supporting their position on whatever disputes are complicating the divorce. Working with a third-party mediator is often a good way for parties seeking a contested divorce to find mutual agreement on their issues, although this requires both individuals to be willing to work together in pursuit of an amicable solution.
If independent negotiations and mediation sessions cannot produce an agreeable resolution, a divorce with contested issues may progress into a trial in circuit court. The presiding judge would make binding decisions on any outstanding disputes based on factual evidence presented to them. A local contested divorce attorney could guide an individual party to a divorce through the trial process or, if necessary, help them appeal the court’s decision based on specific points of error.
Guidance during a circuit court trial is not the only part of a contested divorce that a legal professional could provide assistance with. Retaining skilled legal counsel can often be essential to avoiding litigation altogether during contested-issue divorces.
Even before the divorce process begins in earnest, simply hiring a contested divorce lawyer in Texarkana could encourage an unwilling spouse to cooperate more fully during private negotiations. Furthermore, a legal representative could facilitate, help prepare for, and formally act upon informal agreements made during mediation sessions, greatly increasing the effectiveness of this strategy. Finally, if litigation does end up becoming necessary, legal counsel could take the lead on filing motions in court, presenting a particular party’s case, and pursuing an outcome which serves that party’s best interests.
Even if both spouses involved agree completely on how they will divide marital property, child custody, and various support obligations, the process of getting a divorce is rarely simple or straightforward. If you disagree on how to handle these or other matters, you may have an even tougher time achieving a satisfying divorce agreement, especially if you try to resolve your disputes without help from an attorney.
Once hired, a Texarkana contested divorce lawyer could work tirelessly to smooth out divorce proceedings on your behalf and help you pursue a positive final outcome. Call today to learn more.