Divorce: Contested and Uncontested
Whether you're divorcing by choice or by circumstance, we know that the path you're about to travel may seem uncertain. Each person's divorce experience is unique, much like a fingerprint, with no two people having the same experience. It may be tempting to ask your friends, family or colleagues what you can expect. However, their stories will probably lead to more confusion or set unrealistic expectations.
When you choose Smedley Law Group, we'll talk to you not only about your pending litigation—but also about your life. To move forward, it's important to understand what problems exist in your current circumstances, how those problems affect you and your family and what we need to do to create the life of your dreams, moving forward. We provide you with the clarity you need in a time of uncertainty. Then, we craft a strategy based on what's most important to you as you move forward into this next stage of your life.
A divorce matter can take on two forms: contested and uncontested:
A contested matter is where the parties have not yet reached an agreement as to how the issues surrounding the dissolution of their marriage should be dissolved. Contested matters typically involve issues relating to custody and parenting time, child or spousal support, and/or the division of assets and debts.
An uncontested matter is where the parties have already negotiated signed agreement resolving all of the issues related to the dissolution of their marriage.
Don't be alarmed if you don't yet have an agreement with your soon-to-be-ex; most matters resolve without having to go to trial, despite starting off as a contested matter. There are plenty of opportunities along the way to amicably resolve your matter, which can minimize the financial and emotional cost of your case.
That's not to say that litigation doesn't have its place. There are times where it's necessary to fully litigate a matter:
your soon-to-be-ex has taken an unreasonable position
you can't reach a compromise on one or more areas of your case
the issues are complex
experts are required to evaluate and assess an aspect of your matter.
When your matter requires litigation, Smedley Law Group works with you to develop a litigation strategy based on your individual situation and goals for the future.
You've probably heard the phrase, “What’s yours is mine, and what’s mine is mine.” There are very few places where that's less true than in the area of equitable distribution, which is the term to describe the division of assets and debts acquired by a couple during the marriage.
When couples divorce, an assessment must be made to determine what assets and debts are marital and which aren't. That house you owned prior to getting married? Perhaps it's off the table when it comes to distribution. Your 401k that you contributed to while your spouse stayed home taking care of the kids? That’s likely in the pot, despite you being the only person to contribute to it.
Like stars in the sky, the possibilities are endless when it comes to various equitable distribution scenarios. That’s why having the right team on your side is so important. At Smedley Law Group, we know what questions to ask and what arguments to make to ensure that your assets and debts are divided in such a way that takes into consideration your priorities—and brings you closer to your new future.
Ready to throw out the status quo?
Book a consult today.
Our powerhouse team of attorneys have chosen to devote their entire practice to family law, ensuring you have a support system of strong litigators who’ll work on your behalf in your unique situation. We listen and talk with you to determine your goals and desired outcomes, and then work with you to achieve them through our advocacy.