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Contested Divorce Lawyer in Jacksonville, NC

Jacksonville Contested Divorce Attorney

Experienced Jacksonville Family Lawyers for Contested Divorce Cases

Going through a divorce can be financially, emotionally, and mentally taxing, especially when you and your spouse can’t agree on important issues like property division, child custody, and alimony. If you are looking to file for divorce and you and your spouse can’t come to an agreement on certain issues, you need a trusted divorce attorney to help guide you through the process. 

At The Wilkie Law Group, our Jacksonville divorce lawyers are committed to providing knowledgeable and compassionate legal representation to those facing contested divorce proceedings in North Carolina. We recognize that every divorce is unique, which is why we tailor our approach to meet the specific needs and goals of each client. 

Don’t go through this process alone–call our law office at (910) 333-9626 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney regarding your divorce case today. 

Contested Divorce Lawyer in Jacksonville, NC

What is a Contested Divorce?

A contested divorce is a divorce in which the spouses do not agree on various key issues, such as child custody, child support, property division, and more. In these situations, a judge is given the authority to make decisions about the contested issues, based on the facts of the divorce case and what they believe is fair.

Contested Divorce vs. Uncontested Divorce

Couples that separate either go through a contested divorce or an uncontested divorce. While a contested divorce occurs when the two spouses can’t agree on major aspects of the divorce, an uncontested divorce occurs when the two spouses can agree on all major aspects.

Due to the legal conflicts associated with contested divorces, they tend to be more lengthy, complicated, and expensive than uncontested divorces. Uncontested divorces, on the other hand, can often be settled outside of court, saving time, money, and effort for everyone involved.

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Is It Worth Contesting a Divorce?

It depends on the facts of your divorce case, but a contested divorce can be well worth the trouble for some couples. While uncontested divorces can be quicker and easier, they can result in unfair outcomes for one spouse, especially in situations of domestic violence or situations where one spouse has power or authority over the other.

If you and your spouse have disagreements over key issues like child custody, support, property division, or other crucial matters, it may be in your best interest to contest the divorce and have an impartial judge make decisions on these issues. An NC divorce lawyer can help evaluate the circumstances of your case and determine whether or not it would be worth it to contest your divorce. 

Reasons to Contest a Divorce

There are a number of different decisions that need to be made in a divorce, so when a couple disagrees on any one of them, it could lead to a contested divorce proceeding. Below are some of the most common reasons that someone may contest their divorce. 

Disagreement on Grounds for Divorce

In some states, couples may disagree on the grounds of their proposed divorce, leading to a contested proceeding. For example, if one spouse is seeking a divorce because they claim that the other spouse committed adultery but the other spouse denies cheating, then they may argue that the grounds for the divorce are invalid. 

North Carolina, however, is a “no-fault” state, meaning that couples can divorce for any reason and they do not have to prove that their spouse wronged them in order to request a divorce. Even if one spouse does not agree to divorce the other spouse, the court can still grant a divorce as long as one of them has lived in NC for 6 months and the couple has been separated for a year. 

Child Custody Disputes

Child custody is another common cause of contested divorces, especially when both spouses seek primary custody or have conflicting views on parenting arrangements. Disputes over child custody can prolong the divorce process as the court factors in things like parental fitness, child preferences (if mature enough), and the best interests of the child.

Child Support Disputes

Disagreements over child support obligations can also lead to a contested divorce. Issues may arise regarding the amount of support to be paid, the financial resources of each parent, and any special needs or extenuating circumstances that might affect the child’s financial needs. 

A judge may need to establish a fair and appropriate child support agreement to ensure the child’s needs are properly met after the divorce is finalized. 

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Spousal Support Disputes

Spouses also often disagree on spousal support, also known as alimony, which provides one spouse with regular financial support from the other after the divorce. The court will often consider factors like the length of the marriage, the financial contributions that each spouse has made to the marriage, and the financial needs of each spouse at the time of the divorce. 

Property/Debt Division Disputes

Dividing marital property and debts can be a contentious issue in divorce proceedings, especially when spouses disagree on what should be considered marital property and what should be considered separate property. 

In North Carolina, judges divide property through equitable distribution, which means that marital property is often divided between the couple 50/50 in a divorce. This can result in an unfair property division for one or both spouses. 

Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement Challenges

If the couple has a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement, but one spouse claims that the agreement is unfair or invalid, it can result in a contested divorce proceeding. Allegations of coercion, fraud, or inadequate disclosure of assets at the time of signing could cast doubt on the agreement’s validity. 

The courts may need to review the agreement, its terms, and the circumstances of its creation to determine its enforceability.

Jurisdiction Issues

In a divorce, a couple may disagree on where the divorce proceeding should take place. Since the jurisdiction in which the divorce is filed can affect various aspects of the divorce process, this kind of dispute often leads to a contested divorce. 

This is a common issue in military divorce cases, where one spouse may spend extended amounts of time in another jurisdiction or out of the country, which can affect residency requirements for some divorce proceedings.

Reconciliation Efforts

Efforts to reconcile the marriage can also lead to contested divorces. If one spouse is seeking to reconcile the relationship while the other is seeking separation, the couple may need legal guidance to reach a resolution. Reconciliation attempts, such as counseling or mediation, can also prolong the divorce process, further complicating the situation.

Family Lawyers for Contested Divorce

What Happens in a Contested Divorce?

If two spouses cannot agree on key aspects of their divorce, one spouse can file a lawsuit against the other. Once the lawsuit has been opened, the divorce court handling the case can begin the process of settling the disputes between the couple. The judge in the case will hear arguments from both sides and evaluate evidence in order to make decisions regarding the couple’s issues.

Once all of the necessary decisions have been made and all requirements have been met, the court can issue the couple with their divorce decree, and each spouse can live their life in accordance with the terms of the divorce decree.

How Long Does a Contested Divorce Take?

Overall, a contested divorce in North Carolina can take anywhere from 12 to 18 months or more to complete. The length of the contested divorce process can depend on various factors, including the number of issues that need to be resolved, the court’s current caseload, and the degree of cooperation between the spouses.

An NC divorce attorney can evaluate the facts of your case and provide you with a more accurate potential timeline for your contested divorce. Additionally, an attorney can help expedite the process, ensuring that issues are handled in an effective and timely manner while also advocating for your best interests in court.

Can You Contest a Divorce After it is Final?

Yes, you can contest a divorce after it has been finalized and after a judgment has been issued. People often contest divorce proceedings after the fact if they believe that procedural issues, fraud, or other unjust factors affected the outcome of their divorce. However, it’s important to note that once the final divorce decree has been issued, North Carolina residents must file a post-trial motion within 10 days in order to legally contest the divorce.

Who Pays for a Contested Divorce?

In a contested divorce, each spouse will cover their own court fees and divorce lawyer cost. However, the financial responsibility for a contested divorce can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case, and the court may allocate fees however they see fit.

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How To File a Contested Divorce

To file a contested divorce in North Carolina, you must first meet residency requirements, which require at least one spouse to reside in the state for six months prior to filing. Next, you can initiate the process by filing a Complaint for Absolute Divorce with the Clerk of Court. From there, your spouse can be served with the Complaint. 

After they respond, a court hearing can be set to discuss your case with the judge. A practicing family law attorney can help ensure that your divorce papers are filed and served in accordance with North Carolina’s divorce laws.

Do You Need an Attorney for a Contested Divorce in North Carolina?

If you are filing for a contested divorce in North Carolina, it is highly advisable to have an attorney on your side. A divorce attorney can guide you through the family court system, advocate for your interests in negotiations or court hearings, and help provide you with the legal support you need during this difficult time. 

They can also gather evidence and build a strong case on your behalf in regard to issues like child support, child custody, spousal support, and property division. Overall, a knowledgeable North Carolina family lawyer can potentially help you reach a more favorable outcome in your divorce case. 

How Our Jacksonville Divorce Lawyers Can Help

At The Wilkie Law Group, our experienced attorneys provide strategic counsel and vigorous representation to individuals going through contested divorce proceedings. We leverage our experience in family law practice to help ensure our clients receive favorable divorce decrees. 

We’re prepared to guide clients through every step of the divorce process, from initial filings to courtroom proceedings, and are committed to achieving fair outcomes that align with their best interests. Call our law offices today to schedule a consultation with one of our Jacksonville family law attorneys regarding your divorce case. 

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Call the Experienced North Carolina Family Law Attorneys at The Wilkie Law Group Today

If you and your spouse can’t agree on important divorce aspects, you need an experienced contested divorce lawyer in Jacksonville, NC who can help ensure you receive the best possible outcome. At The Wilkie Law Group, we understand how difficult it can be to go through a contested divorce proceeding, which is why we provide our clients with steadfast representation throughout every stage of the process. 

Experienced Jacksonville Divorce Attorneys

We provide the residents of Jacksonville and beyond with effective legal representation in a variety of family law matters, including divorce, adoption, child custody, spousal support, and more. We will advocate for your rights and provide you with the information and advocacy you need to get through this trying time. 

Call our law firm at (910) 333-9626 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney on our team today.

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