Your spouse has filed a petition for divorce.
When the time comes that you get served divorce papers, there are a few key things to know to protect your rights.
Here’s what to know on how to fight a divorce.
Contested vs. Uncontested divorce
Nevada has two main types of divorces—contested and uncontested.
The quickest way to end a marriage is through an uncontested divorce. Also known as a joint petition, uncontested divorces are for when the couple agrees on all issues. These divorce-related issues range from child custody to the division of marital property.
Not all couples can agree on things related to an end of a marriage. A contested divorce happens when spouses can’t reach an agreement. Since both spouses cannot resolve the terms alone, they end up in a family court instead.
Generally, contested divorces are more expensive.
Reasons to Contest a Divorce
Contesting a divorce takes time and effort, but sometimes it is necessary to fight a divorce. The help of a judge and a divorce attorney can help ensure that your rights and finances get protected.
Here are a few reasons to contest a divorce.
For the Best Interests of Your Children
If you disagree with your spouse’s plan for child custodial, you should contest the divorce. The court gives a ruling on visitation and custody instead.
The Nevada court usually tries to give both parents time with their children. But a judge will always focus on a ruling that serves the child’s best interests.
Factors they consider when making a ruling include:
- The physical and emotional needs of the child
- The parent’s ability to provide for the child
- The child’s wishes, should they be of proper age and maturity
- Any previous acts by a parent that problems with the parent-child relationship
For Demanding Spousal Maintenance
If you gave up money opportunities to focus on your family, you might deserve alimony.
Your spouse may be against providing post-divorce financial support. You can contest a divorce and prove to the court that you deserve maintenance or alimony.
On the other side, maybe your spouse is demanding alimony. If you cannot afford alimony, if you have a short-term marriage, or if your spouse does not need alimony, you may need to fight the divorce to protect yourself from having to pay alimony.
To Protect Yourself Against Concealment of Assets
It is not uncommon for spouses to hide their assets during a divorce process. If they hide their property from the court, the judge can’t consider the value of these assets. Thus, the court can no longer divide marital property.
A contested divorce ends up in litigation. This fact can allow you access to discovery tools to identify all properties in question.
If Your Spouse Doesn't Want to Compromise
During a divorce, you might face unrealistic expectations from your spouse. If it’s impossible for both of you to compromise, you can request a ruling from the court.
Contested issues can involve almost anything that can become a point of contention. It can be alimony, finances, the family home, and more. Contesting a divorce helps to avoid a one-sided or unfair settlement.
What to Avoid Doing During a Divorce?
There are a few things that people get wrong about how to fight a divorce.
Here are some mistakes you should avoid if you don’t want to get the short end of the stick.
Hiding Your Assets
The consequences of being untruthful about property division in divorce can be severe. You will face severe legal consequences. These penalties include contempt of court and prosecution if you lie under oath. You may also end up giving your spouse 100% of the asset you tried to hide.
Bad Mouthing Your Spouse
Such unwarranted behavior will likely earn you a negative reputation in court. You may also jeopardize your chances of obtaining child custody.
The court decides which parent will foster a healthy relationship in such cases.
Allowing Your Emotions to Take Over
Allowing your emotions to take control can cause the divorce to drag on longer. That then increases your financial and emotional burden.
It can also lead to making poor choices with long-term consequences.