Contesting a Divorce : What You Need To Know

Every divorce process starts with one spouse filing a petition to dissolute the marriage in a state court. The petition is then served on the other spouse, who decides whether or not to contest the divorce.

The process of contesting a divorce differs from state to state but there are certain steps that are common in all procedures. These include:

Filing Response

Majority of the states in US have a form on which the person who received the petition service can respond to. The spouse will only have to fill the document if he or she decides to contest. On the other hand, it is important to note that this document is time sensitive and therefore, the original petition and summons should carry the date by which it must be filed in order to prevent the person from defaulting.

Request For Hearing

Requesting and attending a hearing is the second step involved in contesting a divorce. The spouse can, on the response form, mention whether he or she is contesting the grounds or the terms. If the spouse does contest, the matter will have to be decided in court and therefore, a hearing is important. If the hearing is not scheduled before time, the respondent should be sure to file a motion in order to show cause and then set it for hearing.

Disproving Grounds

Each state more or less has the same grounds for the divorcing process . A spouse can seek divorce for several reasons, as describe by the state laws. The burden of proof however will fall on the spouse who is seeking it. Contesting the grounds involves providing proof that refutes or disapproves the evidence of the mentioned grounds.

Contesting Terms

Certain states have no fault divorce laws and therefore require no particular grounds. In such cases, you can contest the divorce terms. When these terms are contested, the situation is forwarded to individual parties for private negotiations. The attorneys of each party usually do this negotiation.

Alternative Dispute Resolution 

Seeking ADR saves you a lot of hassle. ADR means settling problems without going to the court. An ADR is facilitated with the help of a mediator or arbitration who consults both parties and then works to create a sound compromise that both parties find workable. If both parties agree to the terms set by the mediator, they can go ahead with the divorce.

Jake Newman


Jake Newman studies the legal field and one day hopes to be a household name as a criminal defense attorney. For now, he keeps tabs on legal topics by blogging and interviewing various legal firms on many legal topics.

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