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A contested divorce involves spouses don’t agree on the terms. Most couples contest issues related child custody during their divorce. Others disagree on alimony, child support, and the equitable division of property. For assistance with getting the most out of your marriage dissolution, work with an Alpharetta contested divorce lawyer from our firm. Our team of divorce attorneys can help ensure that you are not taken advantage of in your contested case.

What is the Role of a Lawyer in Contested Divorces?

In a contested divorce, a lawyer’s role is to minimize conflict so the couple can reach an agreement instead of continuing to increase the cost of their marriage dissolution. An attorney is also responsible for playing the role of an advocate to prevent either spouse from getting taken advantage of in a contested divorce where one person is trying to bully the other into accepting unfavorable terms.

One of the most important roles that lawyers will play, however, is setting the expectation for a divorcing spouse. If someone in a contested divorce thinks they’re going to get 90 percent of the marital estate because their ex-spouse committed adultery, for example, it’s their attorney’s job to set the expectation that that’s unlikely to happen at mediation, arbitration, or litigation.

Your attorney can also bring valuable insight and perspective to your case. Sometimes, parties will argue for the sake of arguing to stay engaged in the relationship, and a lawyer can point out that what they’re arguing over is not really worth arguing over.

Finally, lawyers can help a contested divorce in Alpharetta by bringing creativity to the case. We typically have a lot more experience with divorce than the parties, so we can provide suggestions they may not have considered otherwise.

Protecting Children’s Best Interests in a Contested Divorce

Children in a contested divorce generally aren’t represented by a lawyer like the two parents are. However, a guardian ad litem may be appointed to represent the best interests of the minor children. Otherwise, the two attorneys who represent the divorcing parties can argue about or read their resolutions on what is the best interest of the minor children as far as parenting time, residential schedules, child support, and custody.

How do Local Courts Typically Treat Contested Divorce Cases?

The courts encourage divorcing couples to agree on as much as possible so that judges don’t have to rule on their marital issues – not because they’re lazy and don’t want to, but because it take a lot of time to present a contested divorce in Alpharetta and for the judge to get to know the parties. The longer a divorce takes to resolve, the higher the costs will be for both spouses.

The local tribunal may decide that it’s necessary to appoint a guardian ad litem, order psychological evaluations, or ask financial experts to review or conduct a forensic accounting analysis, depending on the allegations in the case. Regardless of a couple’s contested issues, the court will do their best to reach the most equitable division of assets, parenting time, child custody, and alimony if possible.

Mediation, Arbitration, and Litigation in Alpharetta Contested Divorce Cases

Mediation is required in every divorce case. Mediation allows couples to come to an independent agreement on contested marital issues and is designed to reduce the cost of a divorce. While divorcing couples can ask the court to go to trial without mediation, it’s unlikely for that to be granted.

Arbitration is more common in situations with nuanced circumstances. For example, if the parties own a business with other people in a joint lease and they’ve got to figure out their interest in the business, arbitration would give them the opportunity to work out those details before a neutral third-party.

Litigation happens before the final hearing and typically addresses spousal support and the distribution of assets. After that, the final hearing is where the judge makes the final decision on all of a couple’s contested marital issues. Our team Alpharetta attorneys can help you through each stage of a contested divorce and ensure that you receive a fair outcome, regardless of the level of conflict in your case, so give us a call today.

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