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Why Would a Divorce Be Contested?

 Posted on July 08, 2024 in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerEnding a marriage is rarely an easy decision. Even when both spouses agree that separation is the best path forward, the divorce process can be emotionally taxing. In an ideal world, couples would always part ways amicably, working together to create fair arrangements for property division, finances, and, if applicable, child custody. However, real life is often more complicated, and sometimes, divorces become contested.

A contested divorce occurs when spouses cannot agree on one or more issues. This situation can arise even between couples who still maintain mutual respect. It is not about being difficult or uncooperative; it often stems from genuine concerns or differing perspectives on what constitutes a fair resolution. An Illinois lawyer can help you determine what to do with a contested divorce.

Common Reasons for Contested Divorces

  • Child-related matters: Parents naturally prioritize their children’s well-being. Disagreements may arise over custody arrangements, parenting time, or decision-making responsibilities. Each parent might have a different vision of what best serves their children’s interests.
  • Financial considerations: Divorcing couples must divide their marital assets and debts. This process can become complex, especially with high-value assets, business ownership, or retirement accounts. Spousal maintenance (alimony) can also be a point of contention.
  • Emotional factors: Sometimes, the emotional impact of divorce clouds judgment. One spouse might contest the divorce out of hurt, anger, or a desire to reconcile.

While these disagreements can lead to a contested divorce, it is important to remember that contestation does not necessarily mean hostility. Many couples who face initial disagreements eventually find common ground through negotiation, mediation, or the guidance of experienced attorneys.

How to Navigate a Contested Divorce

If you find yourself in a contested divorce situation, consider the following approach:

Prioritize open communication: If possible, maintain communication with your spouse. Clear, respectful communication can sometimes resolve misunderstandings.

Focus on long-term goals: During emotional moments, getting caught up in short-term conflicts is easy. Try to keep your long-term objectives in mind, whether they relate to co-parenting, financial stability, or personal growth.

Explore alternative dispute resolution: Mediation or collaborative divorce processes can often help couples reach agreements without litigation. These methods can be less adversarial and may preserve better relationships, which is especially important for co-parenting.

The Impact of Contested Divorces on Families

While contested divorces can sometimes be necessary to protect your rights and interests, it is important to understand their potential impact. The prolonged nature of contested divorces can increase emotional strain on all family members, including children. From a financial perspective, these divorces often involve more legal proceedings, which can lead to higher attorney fees and court costs. Time is another significant factor to consider. Resolving disputes through the court system can be time-consuming, potentially delaying the start of your post-divorce life. Additionally, the adversarial nature of some contested divorces may strain relationships, making future co-parenting more difficult.

However, with proper guidance and a commitment to finding fair solutions, many families navigate contested divorces successfully. The key is to approach the process focusing on long-term well-being rather than short-term victories. Every family’s situation is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution to divorce. Some couples find creative arrangements like birdnesting (where children remain in the family home while parents alternate residency) work well for them. Others might need more traditional custody arrangements. The key is finding solutions that work for your specific circumstances.

Contact a Wheaton, IL Divorce Lawyer

If you are facing a divorce and are concerned about potential contestation, speaking with a DuPage County, IL divorce attorney can help clarify your options. You do not have to go through this phase of your life alone, and having legal representation on your side can take some of the overwhelming aspects off your shoulders. Call Fawell & Fawell at 630-871-2400 to start with a free consultation.

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