Contested Divorce Lawyers

Massachusetts Contested Divorce Lawyers in Mansfield, MA | Bristol County

When a couple gets divorced, they have options as to how they want to dissolve their relationship. While some couples can come together and resolve their matter through an uncontested divorce, it is understandable that not all people can. A contested divorce is when no one has signed an agreement and issues are left unresolved. When this is the case, issues like child custody, child support, parenting time, property distribution, and alimony may need to be decided by a judge. It is important to have quality legal support when facing a contested divorce. With over 30 years of experience, The Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley, P.C. provides effective legal services for clients facing a contested divorce. If you need a consultation, contact our firm today.

What is a contested divorce?

Divorce is a complicated process. When a person files for divorce, he or she can cite “fault” or “no-fault” grounds. Fault grounds, including adultery, desertion, gross and confirmed habits of intoxication, cruel and abusive treatment, non- support, impotence, or a prison sentence of 5 or more years can be answered by the defendant. These grounds are rarely used in recent years because of the legal issues that can arise before the divorce even starts. When used, a contested divorce can be based on the grounds alone.

If a person cites “no-fault” grounds to start the process, the divorce process can begin and issues can be contested, leading to a court case. This divorce is called a “1B” divorce, meaning that the grounds are uncontested, but there is no agreement onmarital issues. When a couple cannot come to terms outside of court, they may need to litigate the matter.

The contested divorce process

Often, the courts will assess the validity of using alternative dispute resolution to resolve marital issues because of the financial toll on the state and the financial and emotional toll on the family. Sometimes, this is just not possible and a court needs to make decisions for the couple because issues are so deeply contested.

When litigating a divorce, there are many steps in the trial process, including the discovery process where parties disclose important financial information to prepare for trial. Once the trial is complete and the judge makes the decision, he or she will pass down a Judgment of Divorce. At this point, the couple must wait for the divorce decree. This period is called the Divorce Nisi. For a contested divorce, a “1B” divorce, the Divorce Nisi is 90 days.

Contact a Massachusetts divorce attorney

For over 30 years, The Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley, P.C. has provided quality legal support and representation for clients in Bristol County and all of Massachusetts. Our firm’s experience eases the stress of clients while providing the legal services they deserve. If you need help through a contested divorce, contact The Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley, P.C. for a consultation today.