Defending Your Peace of Mind Contested Divorce

Panama Contested Divorce Lawyer

Ready to Protect Your Rights & Best Interests in a Florida Contested Divorce

In a perfect world, when a couple decides that they want to get a divorce, they would both agree unanimously on the details of that decision, eliminating the need to go to court. In reality, the divorce process is rarely completely uncontested (after all, there is a reason the couple is divorcing), and often what couples thought would be simple turns into months of heated arguments. This is known as a contested divorce, and will almost always require assistance from an experienced divorce attorney to arrive at a successful outcome.

If you are currently enduring an arduous divorce, you need to seek legal assistance from an experienced divorce attorney. When you bring on The Virga Law Firm, P.A., our Panama City contested divorce attorneys will work with you, understand the uniqueness of your situation, and help you get through this trying time. Our firm is always open to you.

Call us at (800) 822-5170 to get started with an initial case evaluation.

What is a Contested Divorce?

A contested divorce refers to a situation in which the spouses cannot reach an agreement on one or more key issues related to their divorce, which may lead to a lengthy and often adversarial legal process. 

Here are some of the most frequently contested subjects:

Contested divorces tend to be more time-consuming, emotionally draining, and expensive compared to uncontested divorces, where the spouses agree on all terms and can often finalize the divorce with minimal court involvement.

The Contested Divorce Process in Florida

In Florida, the process of a contested divorce follows specific legal procedures. Here's an overview of the steps involved:

  • Filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage: One spouse (the petitioner) initiates the divorce process by filing a petition with the circuit court in the county where either spouse resides. The petition outlines the grounds for divorce and requests relief, such as the division of assets, child custody, and support.
  • Service of Process: After filing the petition, the petitioner must serve the other spouse (the respondent) with copies of the petition and other related documents. This ensures that the respondent is aware of the divorce proceedings.
  • Response: The respondent has a limited time to file a response to the petition, typically within 20 days of being served. In the response, the respondent may agree or disagree with the issues raised in the petition and may also file counterclaims.
  • Discovery: Both parties engage in the discovery process, during which they exchange relevant information and documents related to the divorce, such as financial records, property deeds, and evidence relevant to child custody or support.
  • Mediation: In Florida, mediation is often required in contested divorce cases before the court will schedule a trial. A neutral third party (the mediator) helps the spouses negotiate and attempt to reach agreements on issues such as property division, alimony, and child custody. If agreements are reached during mediation, they can be included in a settlement agreement.
  • Pre-Trial Hearings and Motions: The court may hold pre-trial hearings to address procedural issues, resolve disputes, or consider motions filed by either party. Motions may request temporary orders for child support, alimony, or other matters until the divorce is finalized.
  • Trial: If the parties are unable to resolve their differences through mediation or negotiation, the case will proceed to trial. During the trial, both parties present evidence, witness testimony, and arguments to the judge, who will make decisions on contested issues based on Florida law and the evidence presented.
  • Final Judgment: After the trial concludes, the judge issues a final judgment of dissolution of marriage, which outlines the terms of the divorce, including property division, alimony, child custody, and support. The final judgment legally terminates the marriage.
  • Appeals (if applicable): Either party may have the option to appeal the final judgment if they believe legal errors were made during the trial process.

If a couple simply cannot come to an agreement on their own, then a judge will be required to make allotments based on the arguments presented in court. This can leave at least one of the parents at a disadvantage because someone who may not fully understand your situation will be making decisions that affect your entire family.

Again, since a judge is ultimately left to determine the outcome of the divorce case, it is imperative that you retain a firm that you can trust. This can drastically increase your chances of achieving your desired outcome.

Call The Virga Law Firm, P.A. For Empathetic Legal Service

Contested divorce is an extremely taxing time, and can feel as though you are getting nowhere, even after months of negotiations. Our experience has shown us that even the most complex and sensitive situations can be resolved with an understanding and dedicated attorney. 

Here are several reasons why hiring a lawyer from our firm is essential for navigating a contested divorce:

  • Legal Expertise: Our team of skilled attorneys has a deep understanding of Florida divorce laws, procedures, and courtroom protocols. We stay up-to-date with the latest legal developments and leverage our expertise to craft strong legal strategies tailored to your unique situation.
  • Strategic Guidance: We will work closely with you to assess your goals and priorities, helping you understand your rights and options at every stage of the divorce process. With our strategic guidance, you can make informed decisions that align with your long-term interests.
  • Negotiation Skills: In many contested divorces, negotiations play a pivotal role in reaching settlements on issues such as asset division, spousal support, and child custody. Our attorneys are skilled negotiators who can advocate for fair and favorable outcomes on your behalf while striving to minimize conflict and stress.
  • Courtroom Advocacy: If your case proceeds to trial, having a strong advocate in the courtroom is essential. Our attorneys have extensive experience litigating contested divorce cases before Florida courts. We will present compelling arguments, cross-examine witnesses, and advocate vigorously for your rights before the judge.
  • Emotional Support: Going through a contested divorce can be emotionally draining and overwhelming. Our compassionate legal team is here to provide the support and reassurance you need during this challenging time. We will listen to your concerns, offer practical advice, and guide you with empathy and understanding.
  • Protecting Your Rights: In contested divorces, disputes can arise over various issues, including property division, child custody, and support. We are committed to protecting your legal rights and ensuring that your voice is heard throughout the legal proceedings. We will fight tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome for you and your family.

If you are in need of legal assistance in the Panama City area, The Virga Law Firm, P.A. stands ready to help you. Our seasoned litigators fight tirelessly to help our clients achieve their goals and protect their families.

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  • “I will definitely be recommending to anyone I know that needs a child custody or divorce attorney!” - A Divorce Client
  • “If you are looking for an attorney who is professional, honest, knowledgeable and responsive to your needs, Gerard Virga meets such requirements.” - A Divorce Client
  • “He responded to my messages promptly and I never felt rushed when speaking with him in meetings and phone conversations.” - A Divorce Client
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