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What happens when someone contests a divorce?

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Quick Answer

When individuals contest a divorce because they do not want the divorce or disagree with the proposed settlement, a judge or mediator is assigned to settle the dispute. Both parties are assigned to meet with a mediator and judge, according to the New York State Unified Court System.

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Full Answer

Although the process for contesting a divorce may vary by state, in many cases a request for judicial intervention, known as a contest, must be filed once the divorce summons is issued, according to the New York State Unified Court System. Both parties are typically required to file a statement of net worth to show assets, income and expenses. Once the paperwork is filed, both parties typically meet with a mediator to reach an agreement. During this time, couples with children may be required to attend a parent education class, notes Delaware State Courts.

If mediation is unsuccessful, a preliminary conference is conducted with a judge, where both parties are allowed to plead their case to the judge, according to the New York State Unified Court System. In some cases, a compliance hearing is also scheduled and the discovery process begins, wherein both parties can submit supporting documents to support their case or claim. Ultimately, a trial may be necessary when the divorce is contested. A judge then determines the divorce settlement.

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