What Is Contested Divorce?

Posted on: August 10, 2016

Filing for a divorce is rarely a happy experience, as it has long-reaching effects on family and friends. Facing a contested divorce, however, can become even more stressful unless you have the legal and emotional support of the finest family and divorce law firm serving the greater Northern Virginia area. Graham Law Firm, PLLC, specializes in contested divorces, helping all of our clients reach equitable settlements that protect the well-being of our clients and their children.

  • Beginning Stages

    Finding common ground during a divorce is often difficult. For divorcing couples who cannot agree on child custody or support, property division, or alimony, Virginia has several requirements for successfully finalizing a contested divorce.

    To contest a divorce in Virginia, you must first file a written answer to the Bill of Complaint in the same court where the divorce action was filed in order to contest each claim made in the complaint. This response can include contesting the grounds for divorce or any financial relief sought by your spouse, or pertinent facts alleged in the complaint, including how long you’ve been separated, settlement inequities, property ownership, or even how long you’ve lived in Virginia.

  • Hiring an Attorney

    Any divorcing couple should obtain separate legal counsel, especially when there are issues that have been contested in order to avoid a conflict of interests. Engaging an attorney experienced in family law in your county can often lessen stress levels and boost successfully obtaining a fair settlement.

    Depending on the circumstances of both spouses, one may be required to pay for or contribute to the other’s legal fees and court costs, a decision left to the discretion of the court. The award-winning attorneys at Graham Law Firm proudly serve Prince William, Fauquier, Arlington, Fairfax, and Loudoun Counties.

  • Divorce Procedures

    Virginia divorce law requires that spouses involved in a contested divorce present their evidence to a divorce commissioner before a circuit court judge takes over, especially when the grounds for divorce or financial support are contested. Your attorney will file a request with the court in which the divorce is pending, after which time the divorce commissioner will accept evidence and testimony from both spouses, and make a determination on the disputed facts.

    Once a judge has heard all testimony, he or she will determine support and custody, and property division, and issue an immediate divorce decree, or delay a decision if complex issues are involved.

  • Trusted Divorce Lawyers in Northern VA

    At Graham Law Firm, we’ve helped thousands of families in the Northern Virginia area reach mutually beneficial divorce settlements. If you wish to pursue divorce, or if you are unsure about the above specified stipulations for grounds for divorce, contact our award-winning lawyers at Graham Law Firm. Our divorce and family law attorneys can provide trustworthy counsel to assist you in this often difficult process.

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