A contested divorce is one of the more difficult and potentially expensive events a person can go through. There is a reason that only one “person” is mentioned here. Whatever the motivation of the person contesting the divorce is, it will be less difficult for them because it is almost assuredly part of a legal strategy or perhaps for personal revenge. Divorces as a rule can get very ugly, but the contested divorce can drag on for months, if not years.

Evaluate Your Position

If you are on the defensive side of the contest, the first goal is to circle the wagons and evaluate your overall financial, legal, and parental rights to see if there are any weaknesses exposed. This sounds very objective, almost military, but it is almost certain that the person contesting the divorce is seeking to gain something more than if they simply made an amicable agreement. You are better off knowing what more you stand to lose than to just wait for the bomb to drop. You can find some online legal advise through the California Courts website, or a family law attorney in Bakersfield should be able to answer most of your questions.

Gather Up Your True Friends

The next, and perhaps most important, part of dealing with it is to start gathering you closest and most trusted friends together. Before the contest, you were expecting an end to the months of legal paperwork, settlement meetings, and general upheaval of your previous life. The contest will definitely upset that dream and return you back to the days of legal negotiation. It is the last thing you expected – or wanted. Gathering your friends is not only beneficial, it is necessary. Because it is almost impossible to know how long it will take before everything reaches its final conclusion, the process can wear you down. Your choice of friends to depend on in this situation is critical because you may need to call on them at an inconvenient hour.

Judge The Motivation

There is a point that needs to be addressed here about the motive of the contesting party mentioned earlier. Only you know the other person well enough to conclude whether their motives are trying to bring about equity for themselves or trying to exact a pound of flesh from you. There is also the possibility that the contesting party may be having second thoughts about the divorce and is contesting it as a delaying tactic. It may simply be that they don’t want a divorce after all. Determining their motives will go a long way to help you deal with the situation and determine the approach you want to use to being the proceedings to a successful conclusion.

Those who have gone through a contested divorce will fairly contend that there is more than taking a few simple measures to survive the ordeal. For example, if the people who are divorcing happen to be living under the same roof, that dramatically increases the intensity and volatility of the situation in and out of court. Obviously, if there are preteen children involved, that increases the tension between the two parties. Other potentially explosive issues are whether only one person in the marriage is working, the number of joint bank and investment accounts held, and the number of credit cards and debt instruments jointly held. These are a few examples of what a contested divorce is basically about.

You Just Have To Deal With It

If all this sounds like a lot of trouble to have to deal with, you are correct. The important concept here is “have” to deal with. It will take time, money, a commitment to see the process through, and a resolve to fight for equity until all the details are agreed upon. Even acquiescing to the demands is not an escape because the price you will have to pay over many years is likely to be a heavy one. Whatever decision the court arrives at can be appealed by the other person, dragging out the process even further. After all is said and done, as a practical matter, be prepared to permanently sever ties with the other person if at all possible because there will nothing left to resolve.

If you are seeking legal guidance, please don’t wait any longer. Contact the Law Office of Robert F. Carbone and discuss your case with a trusted Bakersfield family law attorney.