(954) 981-2200

The Fort Lauderdale family law contested divorce attorneys at Neave Family Law Group Group, have extensive experience guiding clients through a wide range of contested divorce legal matters. 

When family law contested divorce matters must be decided by the legal system, the process can be complicated by heated emotions and financial turmoil.  It is the goal of your Fort Lauderdale family law attorney to guide you through this contested divorce process in an efficient manner by removing as much of the legal stress from your shoulders as possible.  Neave Family Law Group Group, has provided sound family law and contested divorce legal advice and dedicated representation to clients throughout Florida who are facing situations involving alimony, timesharing, and custody, child support and other child-related expenses, paternity, postnuptial agreements, equitable distribution of assets and liabilities, attorneys’ fees, suit monies and costs, enforcement and modifications, and restraining orders and domestic violence issues.  Many people equate family law with a divorce or dissolution of marriage.  The divorce itself is only one piece of the family law puzzle.  It is important to have a knowledgeable and experienced attorney at your side from start to finish.  We will fight to protect your best interests throughout the resolution of your family law matter.

What is a Fort Lauderdale Contested Divorce?

A contested divorce describes a divorce where you and your spouse cannot agree on the terms required to finalize your proceedings.  For example, you may disagree about the division of property, valuation of assets, or who should assume marital liabilities.  You might also disagree on child custody issues such as how much time the children should spend with your spouse, or who should make educational or medical decisions for your children.  You could even disagree about alimony and support issues or who ultimately should pay the attorney’s fees and costs of your divorce. 

During a contested divorce, there is a discovery period where both you and your spouse must provide certain documents and information that are relevant to the issues of your divorce to the other party.  For example, you are required by law to provide tax returns, bank statements for all financial accounts, even those you do not share with your spouse, statements reflecting the value of retirement assets, and statements which reflect all liabilities you are obligated to repay.  You may also be asked to provide additional statements and information not required by Florida law, but that are requested by the opposing attorney.  You will also be required to prepare and file a financial affidavit.  The financial affidavit is a sworn statement which details your monthly income and expenses, and your assets and liabilities.  Your divorce attorney will assist you in preparing your financial affidavit and in gathering all other statements and information you are required to provide.  If some of the contested issues pertain to your children such as a substance abuse problem with your spouse, or if there is a history of domestic violence in your marriage, that information can be sought by the attorneys and will become evidence that will be presented to the judge.  Your divorce may require other professionals such as forensic accountants to prepare a lifestyle analysis in connection with an alimony claim, or a business valuator to value you or your spouse’s interest in a family business.  You could also require other professionals in connection with your contested child issues such as a psychologist, a guardian ad litem or social investigator.  All of these professionals help not only you and your spouse but also the Court in determining how your divorce will resolve.

Before any trial, you will be required to attend mediation.  Mediation is a process where you and your spouse along with your attorneys and with the assistance of a mediator and any other professionals that have been utilized in your divorce, will attempt to resolve most, if not all issues.  Mediation can often take several hours and can even take multiple days depending on the complexity of your divorce.  Most cases resolve in mediation.  In mediation, you have the chance to resolve your issues in creative and helpful ways that a Court cannot.  If your case resolves in mediation, an agreement is written and signed by you and your spouse.  That agreement is presented to the Court and ratified by the Court at your uncontested final hearing.

If you cannot resolve your divorce issues in mediation, there is often another more intensive and focused discovery period while waiting for trial.  You may have to give a deposition or assist while your attorney takes your spouse’s deposition.  At your deposition, you will have to answer all of your spouse’s questions.  You cannot refuse to answer any question your spouse’s lawyer asks you.  Your attorney will make objections throughout the deposition but you will be required to answer all questions honestly unless your attorney specifically instructs you not to answer and raises a privilege objection.  You may have to provide additional documents or allow someone into your home to make an appraisal or to photograph and appraise fine art or jewelry.  Your attorney will conduct discovery leading up to your trial.

Trials are usually set for half or full days at a time, and if your matter requires more than one (1) day, your attorney and the judge will attempt to set the trial days back to back.  This is a very expensive and stressful experience.  The judge, a third party, who does not know you, your children or your family, and who may be having a bad day, makes a decision about all of the contested issues of your divorce.  Once the judge has made his/her decision, a Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage will be prepared by either your attorney or your spouse’s attorney which reflects the judge’s ruling with the judge’s findings.  Once the judge signs the Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage is signed by the judge, you are divorced.   

Contact a Fort Lauderdale Contested Divorce Attorney

If you have further questions or simply want some guidance regarding the divorce process, do not hesitate to contact Neave Family Law Group Group  We offer free consultations and accept all major credit cards as payment for services.  We can be reached bycalling 954-981-2200 or by completing our online contact form.

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(954) 981-2200

2400 E. Commercial Blvd.
Suite 826 
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308