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What is the Process of a Contested Divorce?

When two people get married, they often do not imagine a divorce in their future. However, certain circumstances can lead spouses to this point. When this happens, there are many cases in which spouses do not agree with one another regarding the terms of their divorce. This may include matters of child support, child custody, visitation, the division of assets, spousal support, and more. Spouses who disagree may find themselves in a contested divorce. In these situations, it is beneficial to contact an experienced attorney for assistance.

What is a Contested Divorce?

When going through a contested divorce, spouses must understand the concept of equitable distribution. It is important to know that “equitable” does not always mean “equal.” Instead of both spouses receiving an equal share of their marital property, it means the property is divided based upon what is fair and just. Due to the fact that each spouse may feel that they are entitled to more, these decisions are made by the court.

How are Child Custody and Support Determined?

In any divorce, the topics of child custody and child support tend to be the most sensitive. When parents cannot agree to a custody arrangement and the divorce is contested, the court works to determine which parent is better fit to care for the child. This is done through the consideration of various factors relating to the child and their relationship with each parent. It is important to note that, generally, the court wants both parents to remain involved in the child’s life. It is because of this that, as long as neither parent poses a threat to their child, the court tries to reach an arrangement that allows the presence of both parents. 

The state of New Jersey requires both parents of a child to financially support them throughout their upbringing until they are considered emancipated. This is true even if a parent does not have custody of their child. Depending on the financial situation of the family, the court will determine an amount in child support that allows a child to maintain a similar standard of living that they had before the parents divorced. 

How is Alimony Determined?

In a contested divorce, the court will determine if alimony is necessary for the couple in question. This is because when a divorce is messy, an individual may not want to support their former spouse. However, it can be ordered by the court under certain circumstances. This can be dependent upon the extent to which both spouses contributed to the family and if one is dependent on the other for income. Alimony, also known as spousal support, may be ordered in order to provide a dependent spouse with stability until they can support themselves. 

Contact our Firm

If you need an experienced legal team to guide you through your divorce, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C today.