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Contested Divorce

In a California contested divorce, one spouse files a petition for divorce, and the other spouse files a response because he or she disagrees with the petition. The respondent may disagree with some or all of the things the petitioner is asking for. 

If the parties agree on some issues, they can create a written agreement, leaving the other matters up to a judge. Before taking these matters to court, however, parties can try to resolve them on their own, with their attorneys' help, or by using alternative dispute resolution measures like divorce mediation.

If the parties are unable to work out all issues, either on their own or with assistance, the unresolved issues must go to trial. Most California courts require the parties to attend a settlement conference prior to trial.

Deciding If Contested Divorce is Right for You

At Shaffer & Associates, we know that a contested divorce is the most costly way to end a marriage in California, financially and in terms of effort, time, and emotional stress, but sometimes it is the best choice. We are skilled negotiators who do everything possible to help our clients arrive at a settlement agreement that truly meets their needs. Our clients' best interests are always uppermost in our minds, and if settlement negotiations are not achieving the best results for them, we will not hesitate to advocate for their rights at trial. We work with families throughout San Diego County and in the surrounding communities.

Our Approach to California Contested Divorce

We know divorce is difficult; it's even more so when you don't know what to expect. When you come into our office, we listen to your needs and concerns and help you identify your goals for divorce and life afterward. Then, we give you the information you need about divorce in California, including contested divorce. We explore options with you, being straightforward about the likely outcomes of various courses of action. Together, we'll develop a plan to move forward. 

At Shaffer & Associates, we know that the well-being of your family is your biggest priority, so it's ours, too. We also understand that finances are a concern for almost everyone, so we do everything in our power to achieve the result you want in your divorce as quickly and with as little unnecessary expense as possible, through negotiation of a settlement agreement. We are creative and flexible negotiators, so these efforts are often successful. Sometimes, however, the other side simply won't abandon an unreasonable position, leaving trial as the only option. 

When we try a case, our focus is on achieving the outcome you need. We are fierce advocates, often surprising opposing counsel and parties who expect us to be as cordial in the courtroom as we were at the bargaining table. We believe in being overly prepared for trial, and we have the experience to be able to prepare efficiently in order to conserve your resources. And we never lose sight of the fact that, while we've participated in many California divorce trials, this is likely your first one. We keep you informed, supported, and in the driver's seat throughout the process. As your attorneys, we offer guidance and advocate for you, but you have ultimate control over the decisions in your divorce.

Contested Divorce Support in San Diego and the Surrounding Communities

The San Diego attorneys of Shaffer & Associates handle contested California divorces in San Diego County and the surrounding communities, including Orange County, Riverside County and Los Angeles County. Contact Shaffer & Associates online or call (619) 595-3167 today to discuss how we may be of help in your case.

San Diego Bar AssociationSection of Family LawCalifornia State Bar Family Law American Bar Association Avvo Clients' Choice 2014