When Should I Consider Filing for a Contested Divorce?

If you are considering filing for divorce in Ohio, you can pursue either an uncontested or a contested divorce. A contested divorce means that you and your spouse are unable to agree on at least one aspect of the termination of your marriage. Although an uncontested divorce can minimize expenses, time, and stress for all parties involved, a contested one presents benefits in certain circumstances.

Reasonable grounds for divorce in Ohio include:

  • Abandonment for at least one year
  • Adultery
  • Any gross neglect of duty
  • Bigamy
  • Extreme cruelty
  • Fraud
  • Habitual drunkenness
  • Incarceration

You may choose mediation to try to resolve your disagreements with the assistance of a neutral third party. This can help you avoid litigation, which is typically the longest and most expensive type of divorce. However, going to trial may be a suitable option for specific cases.

What Can I Expect During a Contested Divorce?

In addition to meeting the state’s residency requirements and filing the necessary paperwork, you can typically expect a contested divorce to require more time and expenses than an uncontested one. If you do not share children, 12 months is a common timeline. If you have one or more minor children together, you can expect the process to take 18 months. Those durations are tentative and may change depending on your assets, and the difficulties to reach an agreement on all aspects of the termination of your marriage.

During a contested divorce, you can generally expect a discovery process that may require you to answer specific questions and provide evidence to support your claim. Multiple court appearances may be necessary before going to trial.

Other steps in a contested divorce may be asset appraisals, medical examinations, or any professional that may need to evaluate your situation if you share minor children.

High Net Worth Divorce

If your divorce involves substantial wealth and both personal and marital assets, a contested divorce may help classify property and ensure an appropriate distribution of jointly owned assets whether they are antiques, art collectibles, vehicles, or real estate property.

If your situation also involves businesses or intellectual property, opting for a contested divorce may be helpful. If you are unsure whether this option is necessary in your case, an experienced divorce lawyer can evaluate it and discuss your goals before walking you through what option may be beneficial.

Concealed Assets

If you suspect that your spouse is concealing assets to influence the distribution of marital property and possibly alimony court orders in their favor, a contested divorce can help protect your interests. The discovery process is typically a strong incentive for a reluctant spouse to disclose all they need to.

Domestic Violence

If your spouse physically, verbally, and/or mentally abused you, pursuing a contested divorce may be a safer option for you. A contested divorce can limit your interactions with your abusive spouse and avoid them from trying to intimidate you. This can help you and your lawyer advocate more efficiently for your rights and interests while limiting contact with your spouse.

If you need to file for an order of protection for you and/or your children due to domestic violence, you should also speak with a reputable family law attorney to ensure your safety during the divorce proceedings.

An Unreasonable Spouse

If your spouse refuses to negotiate and/or has unreasonable demands about the terms of your divorce, a contested divorce can help you advocate for your rights and interests more effectively. Whether you are eventually able to resolve issues via mediation or need to go all the way to litigation, a contested divorce can help mitigate unreasonable demands from the adverse party.

Hire Crossman & McNamee, LCC to Protect Your Interests During Your Ohio Divorce

With decades of combined experience, our team at Crossman & McNamee, LLC can accompany you throughout the divorce process in Greene County and its surrounding areas. During your initial consultation, our team can carefully evaluate your situation and discuss your expectations and goals for your divorce. If your situation can benefit from opting for a contested divorce, we can explain the process to you.

Whether you choose mediation or litigation, our attorneys leverage a deep understanding of divorce laws and honest communication to stand up for your rights and help you navigate this important life transition.

Are you planning to file for a contested divorce in Greene County? Call Crossman & McNamee, LLC, today at (937) 468-3796 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation!