What is Contested Divorce?
Contested divorce follows the same basic procedure as uncontested divorce when first starting the divorce action. When a married couple wants to divorce but cannot agree on the cause of why the marriage has broken down, cannot agree on the terms of the divorce, and on matters of children. Where the primary residence of the child or children will be is commonly a point of monumental disagreement and argument. This is contested divorce. It is a divorce scenario in which divorce lawyers South Africa need to be present to represent each of the parties throughout the process, where other legal or welfare professionals may be needed to settle hostility, investigate the interests of the children, and perhaps even consult an accountant to assist in the family’s financial situation. Contested divorce is difficult, problematic, presents a lot of issues, and divorce attorneys South Africa are required to assist. In these situations, to both the courts and divorce attorneys South Africa, the child or children are of primary importance. The wellbeing of children are considered in almost all areas of the divorce. There are a lot of steps in contested divorce and the divorce Attorneys South Africa of each of the parties will work in close relation to ensure that all relevant information and documents are brought to attention.
The various stages of contested divorce are as follows:
- Application for and set down of trial date
- Discovery of documents
- Further discovery and particulars
- Pre-trial conference
It should be noted that pleadings are the formal documents in a divorce. Such pleadings consist of the following documentations:
- Summons, particulars of claims and notice of defence
- Plea to counterclaim and further pleadings
Divorce starts with serving a summons on the person from who you wish to divorce. This person is referred to as the defendant. The party implementing the divorce is referred to as the plaintiff. The summons will state a lot of details related to the divorce. It will state that the marriage has broken down and cannot be reconciled. It will state the marital regime under which the couple was married and often settle divisional disputes, as the terms thereof is often prescribed in the particular marital regime under which the couple married. It will state any other and prior arrangements related to the breakup of the marriage. Such details may include with which parent the child or children will primarily reside, payable maintenance, parenting plans, the division or arrangements with regards to immovable property, finances, division of debts, pensions etc. these are all things that often times require mediation, and assistance from the couple’s divorce attorneys South Africa.
Contested divorce is expensive, in part owing to the fact that other professionals may need to get involved. Such professionals may include psychologists, social workers, family advocates, accountants, and even realtors. Divorce attorneys South Africa will work close with the court to determine the best outcome. Where parties are at war about the conclusion of divorce it is up to the court to make life changing decisions for both the married couple and for any children involved. The best interests and wellbeing of the children will be considered above all else, and this is why the expert involvement of so many different parties are necessary to determine a best interest conclusion. It is up to the divorce lawyers South Africa and the court to make sure the divorced parents of children can provide them with the best situation possible. To ensure, also, that the child or children has fair access to both parents. Where disgruntled parties of marriage argue about the wellbeing of children, one parent may threaten the other with limited or no access to the child. This hurts the child only. Legal representation is important, too, to ensure parties of divorce will be fair.
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