Contested Divorce

What does it mean in Florida when a divorce case is contested? If one of the spouses in a divorce case in Florida cannot agree on some aspect of the case such as parental responsibility, child-support, equitable distribution of marital assets and liabilities and alimony, the case is considered contested. When a case is contested, parties may wish to retain independent counsel to take their case before the family court judge in a contested hearing.

West Palm Beach Divorce Attorney

The Law offices of West Palm Beach divorce attorney, Stephen J. Press, has represented clients for over four decades in the greater West Palm Beach area from Jupiter to Boca Raton in contested divorce matters. If you are thinking about a divorce or have been served with papers, please contact our office for a free analysis of your case. We understand that a divorce case is difficult for each spouse as well as the family. We are highly experienced and compassionate and fully prepared to represent you and protect your rights in your contested divorce case.

What is no-fault divorce?

The Florida divorce law requires a finding by the court that the marriage is "irretrievably broken". This means that at least one of the spouses no longer wants to be in the marriage. This aspect of the case is almost never contested.

It is important that you consult with an experienced Florida divorce attorney if you are contemplating divorce even if you believe that you are in agreement. There still may be important legal and financial issues that require professional legal assistance.

Are there still fault grounds for divorce in Florida?

Prior to the enactment of the no-fault law, parties had to prove factors such as adultery or mental cruelty. These factors are no longer necessary to obtain a divorce. It is not, therefore, necessary for the parties to "air their dirty laundry". Sometimes, however, reasons may be stated in the petition for dissolution of marriage for a strategic purpose.

Adultery is no longer a defense to alimony but can be used to recoup “marital waste" if it can be established that a spouse paid money to or for the benefit of a paramour. Proving marital waste, however may be more costly to establish than it is worth in many cases.

What is the procedure for a contested divorce?

In order for the court to have jurisdiction in the case, at least one of the parties must have been a Florida resident for at least six months prior to the filing of the divorce petition. Also, the case can only be brought in the county where the parties last lived as husband and wife. There are separate jurisdictional requirements for the court to have jurisdiction once child custody and/or time sharing is involved. After the divorce is filed the parties must participate in mandatory financial disclosure. If the parties are not able to settle either informally or through the mediation process, the case will be scheduled by the court on the contested docket. A contested divorce case can take six months or more to complete

West Palm Beach Divorce Attorney

The Law offices of  West Palm Beach divorce attorney, Stephen J. Press represent clients in contested divorce cases in the greater Palm Beach County area. When you have contested divorce matter with financial and/or custody issues it is important to consult with a highly competent professional attorney to properly present your case to the court. Please call our office at 561-833-2772 for a free consultation or contact us online.