Skip to Main Content

Advice for getting through a contested divorce

Divorces have to go through Michigan courts to get processed. Despite what you may think, judges don’t always decide what comes of divorces. Spouses have the first say over co-parenting schedules, asset separation and other details. If they’re unable to reach a decision, however, judges have the ultimate say over what happens.

The two main types of divorces

When spouses work together to settle their breakup, courts define their divorce as uncontested. Contested divorces, as their name implies, refers to all divorces in which there are disagreements on one or more crucial issues. Rather than coming to a stalemate, judges take contested divorces to trial to ultimately reach a conclusion.

Spouses try to reach agreements on their own because the outcomes of contested divorces can end up with undesirable results. For example, judges can end up making rulings that don’t favor either party. Still, resentment and harsh feelings cloud spouses’ decision-making, in turn leading to unwanted divorce outcomes.

Dealing with a contested divorce

Every divorce can have bad results, whether that’s just for you or for both spouses. When dealing with a contested divorce, however, make sure to take extra precautions.

First off, document the entire divorce process as closely as possible. At a minimum, you should record what happens in writing. When possible, use photographic and physical evidence to back up your claims.

Lawyer up

Since it’s a contested divorce, you probably won’t have many out-of-court discussions with your spouse. Only communicate with your spouse with help from an attorney.

Follow your attorney’s instructions at all times. If you decide to talk with your spouse without having your attorney present, record all chats and relay them to your attorney immediately.

Serve your spouse quickly

The faster you serve your spouse with divorce papers, the quicker you can progress through the divorce process. If you can’t find your partner, try to get law enforcement involved. Whatever you do, don’t get too frustrated. Letting your emotions surface can hurt your case.