A contested divorce is one in which the two
parties can’t reach an agreement on one or more
issues. (Contrary to popular belief, a contested
divorce doesn’t take place when one party
doesn’t want the divorce. In the state of
California, you can get a divorce without both
parties agreeing to it.)
Why Should You Try to Work With Your Spouse?
Any lawyer can tell you that litigation can be
costly—and it can be time-consuming, too.
Dragging out your divorce process doesn’t really
benefit anyone (including your children, if you
have them), which means it’s best to settle as
quickly and as fairly as possible.
When you and your spouse can agree on some
issues, you’re off to a good start. The more you
can agree on during the divorce process, the
faster the process will move; each issue you
agree to is one less for your attorneys to argue
over in court or for the judge to decide.
While judges do their best to remain fair and
impartial, the fact is that nobody knows your
family—or what’s right for your family—as well
as you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse do. You’ll
be able to make a better, more fair decision
than the judge will because you know all your
family’s needs, quirks, and desires; the judge
only knows you through what he or she has seen
on paper from your attorneys.
What Happens if You’re Part of a Contested
If you and your spouse ultimately cannot agree
on one or more issues, you’re part of a
contested divorce. The issues you can’t resolve
will go to trial, and sometimes one issue stands
apart from the rest and has its own trial.
The court will issue a final judgment on the
matter, whether it’s child custody, the validity
of a prenuptial agreement, or something else,
and at that point, it becomes a legally binding
order. That means you have to abide by what the
judge rules, even if you’re not happy with it or
it doesn’t work out in your favor.
You can, eventually, go back and petition the
court to revisit its decision. However, that’s
not always successful… and you’ll have to go
through the entire legal process again
(typically paying attorney’s fees along the
Ultimately, it’s better if you and your spouse
can reach as many agreements as possible before
you end up in a Stockton divorce court.
Office of Dennis Kazubowski, 715 North First Street
Suite 21, San Jose, CA 95112
Tel: 408-280-7671 Fax: 408-280-6591