Contested Divorce Lawyer | Salt Lake City, UT

A contested divorce happens when one or both spouses contest one more issue in the divorce period. Some of the most commonly contested divorce issues include the division of property and other marital assets. Disputes between child custody are another commonly contested aspect of Utah divorces. Contested divorces are much more complex than uncontested divorces.  

When the spouses cannot resolve their disputes, they will need to take their case to court, and the court will hear evidence and then decide to resolve the dispute. Other consequences of their contested divorce include a longer divorce timeframe, higher court fees and legal for use, and increased stress. 


Contact a Skilled Salt Lake City Divorce Attorney 

We recommend that spouses try to resolve their conflicts outside and by pursuing an uncontested divorce whenever possible. However, this is not always possible, period. If you are facing a contested divorce, you need an experienced divorce attorney on your side. Contact the skilled Salt Lake City contested divorce attorneys at Read Law as soon as possible to schedule your free initial consultation and learn more about how we can fight for you.


What Does “Contested Divorce” Mean?

The term contested divorce means any divorce in which the spouses disagree on one or more issues. When you hear the term contested divorce, you may be thinking of a long and drawn-out trial. Divorce that goes to trial is a contested divorce. However, a contested divorce can be as simple as filing an answer to a divorce complaint and challenging the pleading. 

Sometimes contested divorces involve the couple attending mediation, which is a mandatory step in the divorce process in Utah. A couple may resolve their conflicts during the mediation process and move forward with an uncontested divorce. Contested divorces can also include temporary orders, or any other matter about which the spouses disagree, such as:

  • Child support and/or spousal support (alimony)
  • The division of assets
  • Orders of protection and domestic violence
  • Child custody and parenting time
  • Living arrangements or relocation


The Contested Divorce Process in Utah

The steps for pursuing a contested divorce are similar to those for an uncontested divorce in Utah. The first step is to file the divorce petition and serve the other spouse. The summons will be included along with the petition. The summons gives the person receiving the petition directions about what to do if they disagree with the petition. After receiving the petition, you will need to file a written answer to the petition, agreeing or disagreeing with the claims made in the petition.


Why are Contested Divorces So Complicated?

Contested divorces are complicated because there are so many steps involved. Contested divorces involve filing a divorce petition, responding to the petition, hiring attorneys, and more. All of these legal steps can add time to the process. The more contested issues, the more time it will take the court to resolve them.


The Discovery Process

The next step is called the discovery process. It is essential to have prepared a significant amount of paperwork before the discovery process can help you detail your shared incomes, shared assets, parenting information, and any other relevant details. During a contested divorce, our attorneys stay vigilant during the discovery process, staying in close contact with your spouse’s attorney. We will try to prevent him or her from attempting to hide assets, or slow the process, delaying the divorce.


Temporary Orders in a Contested Divorce

During the divorce process, the court has the authority to make and enforce temporary orders regarding alimony, child custody, possession of the house, payment of bills, visitation comma, and possession of personal property. All these orders are considered temporary because they will be reviewed again at the divorce trial or hearing. Then the court will issue final orders on these matters that will become part of the divorce decree.


Child Custody in Contested Divorce

For many parents going through the divorce process, child custody is the most critical issue period. The thought of not spending enough time with your children or losing custody can be scary and stressful. In a contested divorce, child custody matters can become among the most contentious aspects of the divorce. Utah courts determine custody in the “best interest of the child.” 

They will consider multiple factors, including each parent’s relationship with the child, age, income, debt, health, and more. Parents will usually have to pay for a “Custody Evaluation” with a psychologist in a contested divorce. It is important that you work with an experienced attorney during a contested divorce process. Your attorney can help you present evidence that retaining custody is in your best interest and effectively communicate with your spouse’s attorney. 


Going to Trial in a Contested Divorce

Not all contested divorces end up going to trial. Many couples can resolve their disagreements before the trial. If your case does proceed to trial, both you and your spouse will be able to present witnesses, cross-examine them, and make closing arguments as to why each spouse deserves what they are asking. After hearing each side’s legal arguments, the judge will issue a final order that states how all issues addressed at the hearing will be resolved. The more complicated the case, the longer the trial. 


Discuss Your Case With a Salt Lake City Divorce Attorney

Even if you and your spouse are working hard to make the divorce process as smooth as possible, there will probably be one issue on which you disagree. Divorces can become messy and make the divorce process stressful and difficult. At Read Law, our Salt Lake City contested divorce attorneys will help you navigate through the legal process as smoothly as possible. Our attorneys recognize that every divorce is unique. We will negotiate when necessary, and our trial-ready attorneys are prepared to ensure that the interests of each client are protected. We will fight for you at every stage. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.

Salt Lake City Divorce Attorney Reviews

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Liz S.

David Read and his office staff were wonderful to work with. They helped me and my father work through his divorce as quickly and as efficiently as possible. Staff was incredibly professional and answered every question with knowledge and accuracy. I would recommend the Law Office of David W. Read to anyone having to go through a divorce, or any other family law needs. 5-Star Review on Google.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Meet S.

I absolutely love this law office! They made the divorce process simple and easy. They were quick to respond to any questions I had and they took care of everything. They also made everything affordable. I highly recommend! 5-Star Review on Google

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