The Benefits of a Contested Divorce
When a couple decides to dissolve their marriage, the default is to try to negotiate a settlement agreement outside of court. However, there are times when litigation may be the better option for resolving divorce matters. Here are some of the potential benefits of choosing a contested divorce over an uncontested one:
Getting a More Favourable Property Division
Typically, community property is divided 50/50 in a no-fault divorce. However, if you can prove fault grounds against your spouse, such as adultery, you may be awarded a larger share of the marital assets. Contesting the divorce on fault grounds gives you the chance to gain leverage in the property division.
Uncovering Hidden Assets
Your spouse may not be fully forthcoming about all of their assets and accounts in the financial disclosures. Filing a contested divorce allows you to use legal discovery processes to uncover any hidden marital assets your spouse may be concealing. Finding concealed property could work to your advantage in dividing assets.
Challenging a Prenup
If you signed a prenuptial agreement that is unfavourable to you, contesting the divorce may allow you to challenge the validity of the prenup. For example, you may argue the prenup is invalid due to the fact that your spouse did not fully disclose their assets or that the agreement is extremely one-sided. Getting the prenup thrown out could mean you are entitled to an equal division of assets.
Resolving Disputes Over Property Characterization
You and your spouse may not see eye-to-eye on what assets count as separate property versus community property. Taking your divorce to court lets a judge decide on the proper characterization of disputed assets. Having a neutral third party make these decisions could work in your favour.
Gaining Advantage in Child Custody
When you believe it is in the best interests of your children for you to have primary custody, seeking a contested divorce may help you achieve this goal. You can make your case to the judge on why the custody arrangement you propose is ideal for the children. Allowing the court to decide custody shows you will fight for your children.
Contested divorces require time, money, and emotional energy. However, the potential benefits may make it worth taking your divorce case to trial. With the help of an experienced divorce attorney, you can determine if litigation aligns with your goals in the dissolution of your marriage.