How Do You Contest a Divorce?


Quick Answer

The process for contesting a divorce varies by state, explains Legal Zoom. In New York, the contest must be filed once a divorce summons is issued, explains the New York State Unified Court System. In Delaware, a divorce is contested when the person responding to the divorce petition files an answer, advises the Delaware State Court. When this happens, the case is automatically scheduled for a hearing.

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Full Answer

There is generally a statutory deadline for filing the answer to contest the divorce, usually 20 days, states Legal Zoom. The answer should state the grounds for contesting the divorce. If 20 days is not long enough to file an answer, the respondent should ask the court for an extension of time to answer.

If an individual contests a divorce because he disagrees with the proposed settlement or does not want the divorce, a mediator or judge is assigned to settle the dispute, notes the New York State Unified Court System. Both parties are then required to meet with the judge or mediator.

If no progress is made during mediation, the court schedules a preliminary conference, in which both parities plead their case to the court, explains the New York State Unified Court System. In certain circumstances, a compliance hearing is scheduled and the parties go through the discovery process, during which documents are submitted to the court, outlining each party's claim. A trial may ultimately be necessary during a contested divorce, and the judge determines how the divorce is settled.

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