When contesting a divorce, you are telling the courts that you and your soon to be ex cannot agree on the terms of the divorce. Some of the issues at the root of the dispute may be division of property, debt, support, and/or child custody. Both parties are far apart, therefore intervention by the courts is needed to rectify and settle the divorce.
Fighting over these issues in court can be a long and costly battle, both financially and mentally. Before moving forward, it may be best for both parties to sit down and try to settle these issues outside of court. If the two parties do not want to see each other, give the divorce attorney some parameters with which to work and they can negotiate on your behalf before you approve the final terms.
If there is no hope, one of the parties will have to file, serve papers, and have a court date set. If this is the case, there should also be a pre trial conference. Any questions you have about the proceedings should be addressed at this time with the court clerk. At this stage, you may still be able to avoid a long court hearing by asking the clerk for help with mediation.
In some cases, you may want to petition the courts for a separate trial for unresolved issues. This can be used when there are issues preventing the divorce from being finalized. For instance, there may be a question regarding property division and to whom it belongs based on the date of acquisition or date of marriage.
It should be noted that this is an exception, as the courts would prefer there only be one case for every suit. However, if these are the only issues and the parties are far apart in discussion, the courts may grant the separate trial to settle the other issues to not let them become unsettled, creating more problems as the case moves forward.
Contesting a divorce is something that should not be done on your own. Because of the legalities involved, it is best to secure the services of an experience family law attorney specializing in divorce. Your rights and property will be better protected, especially if your spouse also has an attorney. Furthermore, the attorneys can negotiate on your behalf, saving long hours of arguing and debating over trivial issues merely out of spite.