A contested divorce will require a divorce attorney to appear in either the Los Angeles County Superior Court or the Orange County Superior Court for several hearings or settlement conferences.
Typically, the matters which are contested in the Los Angeles County Superior Court and the Orange County Superior Court are the division of property (Community and Separate property), spousal support (extent and duration), child support and child custody.
What Takes Place During a Contested Divorce?
The first step in the divorce process after filing your Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is to commence the discovery process which will seek financial information from each of the parties. Discovery requires that each of the parties disclose all sources of their income, whether it be W-2 employee income, independent contractor Schedule C income or income derived from a partnership or other business entity. Discovery also requires each party to disclose all their assets and liabilities regardless of whether they are considered separate or community property.
A contested divorce in Los Angeles County Superior Court or Orange County Superior Court can be a complicated legal matter which may require a trial for a judicial determination of who is entitled to a house, car, boat, retirement plan, business interest or other asset or liability. If division of property is required valuation of the asset or liability will be necessary.” it should read “A contested divorce in Los Angeles County Superior Court or the Orange County Superior Court is a complicated legal matter which will require a trial for a judicial determination of who is entitled to the house(s), car(s), boat(s), retirement plan(s), business interest(s) or other asset(s) or liability(s). Division of assets and liabilities may require the use of an expert to determine valuation especially if it involves businesses..
After each party has completed their required disclosures the parties will file declarations with either the Los Angeles County Superior Court or the Orange County Superior Court. After full disclosure the parties will likely want to conduct settlement negotiations to avoid a trial. Settlement negotiations are confidential and either party is afforded an opportunity to make a settlement offer and or to reject the opposing parties’ settlement offer without consequence. Settlement is the preferable alternative to trial but if complex legal matters cannot be resolved reasonably by settlement because one of the parties is being unreasonable or relying on erroneous legal reasoning it will be set for trial before the Los Angeles County Superior Court or the Orange County Superior Court as appropriate.
If there Is A Divorce Trial
Trial will consist of you and your attorney appearing in either the Los Angeles County Superior Court or the Orange County Superior Court to present evidence and legal argument to establish the legal basis for your claim to ownership of each piece of property, source of income or liability. Once the trial is over the Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge or the Orange County Superior Court Judge will make a ruling and issue a judgment describing each of the parties’ legal rights to the contested property, income or liability. The Los Angeles County Superior Judge or Orange County Superior Court Judges’ decision will require the parties to divide the property in accordance with the judgment in a timely manner.
The judgment of the Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge or the Orange County Superior Court Judge is final but may be appealed if you believe there is an error of law, an error in applying the law, a finding of fact not supported by the record, an abuse of discretion or for a violation of your constitutional rights. The judgment of the Court is final but may be appealed if you believe there is an error of law, an error in applying the law, a finding of fact not supported by the record, an abuse of discretion or a violation of your constitutional rights. No other tenable grounds exist for filing an appeal. Other alternatives include a Motion to Vacate and Set Aside.
What If My Spouse & I Come to an Agreement?
If the parties are able to reach an agreement on some or all terms of the divorce those terms can be set into a Settlement Agreement. Settling some terms even if it does not resolve all issues is a good approach. If a global settlement agreement can be reached that will relive the parties of the need to go through a trial and will effectively terminate the litigation once the Judge approves the agreement and renders a Judgment.
Our Approach to an Contested Divorce
At the Law Offices of Sam Walker, we believe in helping clients achieve positive outcomes by utilizing our experience to assist the parties in settling any differences and complete the divorce process in a timely and cost-efficient manner. We do this by thoroughly reviewing your situation to determine a fair and equitable settlement.
Should your spouse be unwilling to negotiate with the terms we set forth, we have the experience and compassion to argue a solid case on your behalf during a contested case. When you need an attorney on your side with the experience and know how to help the parties proceed with an uncontested divorce you should consult with the Law Offices of Sam Walker.” should be changed to read as follows “should your spouse be unwilling to negotiate with the terms we set forth, we will zealously argue for your position at the trial. When you need an experienced attorney on your side you should consult with the Law Office of Sam Walker.