The term “contested divorce” means the parties are unable to come to a complete resolution of all terms related to their divorce. Most contested divorces result in both parties needing an attorney to represent their respective interests. If your spouse has an attorney on their side and you cannot come to an agreement, you should have an attorney helping you also. The most common items that are contested in a divorce in Alabama include:
A contested divorce usually includes the filing of complicated legal pleadings in which the parties respective rights are asserted and protected. Contested divorces also include lengthy discovery in which Interrogatories, Requests for Admission, and Request for Production are served on each party. How you answer these discovery requests can have a direct impact on the result of your divorce, and they should not be taken lightly. Even after these requests are completed, discovery is usually not over. It is commonplace for depositions to be taken where the parties are required to questioned in person and under oath by opposing counsel. These depositions can last anywhere from a couple of hours to an entire day or more. Your answers at the deposition are transcribed by a court reporter, and can be used against you later at the divorce trial. You don’t want to try to handle this discovery process on your own without competent divorce counsel who has been there before. After discovery is completed, your case is set for trial at the courthouse in front of an Alabama family court judge. Often, the family court judge will Order the parties mediate their case in an effort to resolve their differences before the judge will hear the trial. Again, divorce attorneys representing both sides will represent the parties at mediation, and advise their respective clients as to their rights. If mediation is unsuccessful, or is never ordered, the case will finally go to trial before the family court. At trial, attorneys present evidence through witnesses, including their clients. Divorce attorneys make relevant objections to keep out evidence that is inadmissible, and make legal arguments based on Alabama statutory and caselaw to support their clients position. Ultimately, the judge will have the final decision as to all aspects of the divorce decree. Contested divorces are often highly contentious and should only be undertaken with the assistance of a competent divorce attorney. If you are going through a contested divorce in Alabama or the Birmingham area, contact the divorce litigators at Boles Holmes White LLC to discuss your case at 205-502-2000.