When a couple decides to legally separate, there are two typical paths that they follow: (1) they can reach an agreement which is reduced to a written settlement agreement (known as an uncontested divorce); or (2) if they do not agree, their case will require the intervention of the Court (known as a contested divorce). In this instance, a Judge will be assigned to oversee the matter and to eventually preside over the Trial. A contested divorce matter can entail everything from child custody to the classification and division of marital assets and debt and many things in between.
During a contested divorce, application to the Court can be made where one spouse seeks a Temporary (“Pentente Lite”) Order from the Judge for things such as exclusive use and occupancy of the marital residence, child custody, parenting time, child support, spousal maintenance, and/or counsel or expert fees. This Order will provide temporary relief, but it may remain in effect until your divorce is resolved. In other words, these applications to the Court can be critically important to your case and the attorneys at Copps DiPaola Silverman, PLLC, view them that way. Through our team approach, we litigate contested divorce matters on a routine basis. Even more importantly, we make every effort to work with our clients to ensure their goals are being met every step of the way.
During your contested divorce, you will likely be required to complete a sworn Statement of Net Worth. Many attorneys who are not familiar with this area of the law do not stress the importance of this document, but the Statement of Net Worth is filled with information that can be either helpful or harmful, depending on how it is filled out. The Attorneys and Staff at Copps DiPaola Silverman, PLLC spend time with our clients, explaining the legal documents and forms that are required by the Court. Knowledge of the law and the process is a powerful tool for the client to have, and we believe that it’s important for our clients, who are an essential member of our legal team, to be as informed as possible.
Finally, if the parties are unable to reach an agreement (through settlement negotiations, etc.) at any point during the contested divorce process, the Court will hold a trial and a decision will be issued by a judge following the introduction of evidence by both parties.