I am an Ann Arbor divorce lawyer that has been practicing divorce law for over almost a decade. I get many calls from people worried about an upcoming divorce, fearing it will be contested. Divorce is generally unpleasant and a potential fight does not make things easier.
Ann Arbor Divorce Lawyer, "What Does 'Contested' Mean?"
Think of a contested divorce on a sliding scale. Most divorces have some contention. People aren't going to simply agree on everything right out of the gate. However, the amount of fighting, contention, or disagreement in any divorce varies according to the situation.
Just because there is disagreement does not mean the obstacles to a resolution are insurmountable. Let's put any possible contention into perspective. You are getting a divorce after all, so some disagreement is expected.
On one end of the scale we see relatively regular contested issues. These can always be worked out through talking on the issues. It's important the I communicate with opposing counsel. Perhaps a series of conversations or negotiations are necessary. I will encourage couples to continue discussing the issue while the attorneys talk.
Moving on the scale there can be problems that are more difficult to solve. If we can't simply talk it out then we can work through the issues in a more formal setting, such as mediation. Mediation is a facilitated negotiation of the issues. A mediation session can be the most effective way to resolve the issues. Often both parties can walk away happy they came to an agreement.
Of course not all issues can be worked out through discussion. Sometimes the parties will need to have a judge or Friend of the Court referee make the decision. In these cases we will litigate the issues in contested hearings, where both sides argue their positions.
Ann Arbor Lawyer Explains Contested Custody
There will be situations where both parents will argue over custody and parenting time issues for the children. One or both of the parents might have valid claims that they their ideas and positions on these issues are right and the other is wrong.
Parenting time and custody issues will often draw the fiercest battle lines. After all most people will do anything when they think it's in the interest of the children. Where there are issues that cannot be resolved through mediation then motion hearings and Friend of the Court hearings will be necessary.
We will advise you on the advantages / disadvantages of these hearings so you can make informed decisions.
Contested Property Division Issues
Divorces involve dividing the assets. Couples will have homes, retirement accounts, bank savings, cars, and personal property that must go with one side or the other. Large numbers or sentimentality can be at stake. Things get complicated when people try to get creative and it backfires.
When people don't agree on the property related issues there will be arguments.
Hiring the Right Ann Arbor Divorce Lawyer
Many people think they need to hire an aggressive divorce attorney. Do you know what an aggressive divorce attorney will get you? A really high bill. Aggressiveness is not the right trait for the attorney you need. Aggressiveness will often end up making a mess of the case, making resolution even more difficult to achieve when resolution is the goal.
I like to make it a sports analogy. Football players are not successful because they are aggressive. They don't just run around randomly hitting people. Football players employ strategy, technique, and leverage. They play smart to be effective. Or take boxing. Boxers don't just swing wildly and throw punches wherever they can. Boxers think and plan ahead about their moves.
What you need is a smart divorce attorney. A smart attorney will get the job done. And get the job done efficiently. Closing the deal to achieve a resolution while protecting your rights and assets. Getting what you deserve but doing it the right away to actually accomplish your goals - not just making a lot of noise in court.
How We Don't Practice Law at ArborYpsi Law
Every once in a while we get a call from a potential client looking for a "pit-bull" to go after their soon-to-be-ex. This type of potential client wants to "go after" or "get back at" the ex for whatever the ex did to them. We understand the pain and frustration of going through a divorce and this impulse. We empathize with people going through a hard time.
However, we are not here to use the legal system to harass people. Smart advocacy does not mean arguing for the sake of arguing. Our goal as your family law attorney is to fight hard for you but with the goal of a fair and equitable outcome.
How an Ann Arbor Family Law Attorney Can Help You
We have represented clients through contested divorces in courts throughout the Metro Detroit area. Some cases have been unimaginably difficult with litigants in intractable positions. Other cases suffered through disagreements but ultimately nothing that could not be talked out. We can rely upon our experience to best serve you and your situation.
Your Family Law Attorney's Goal
Our goal is always a happy client. What makes for a happy client in the family law setting? A fair outcome achieved through the most minimal amount of fighting. The more fighting leads to greater levels of stress and anxiety. More fighting means the divorce will take longer to finalize. Achieving a resolution without a lot of fighting can be challenging in some cases. Putting out fires and reducing fighting can be more difficult than squaring off in court. That's why we pride ourselves on taking the extra steps necessary to coming up with out-of-the-box and creative solutions for your case.
Sometimes fighting is inevitable. The reality is fighting cannot be avoided. We know this. We're not running away from the fight. We're trying to handle it in a smart and efficient manner for your benefit. Contact us today to see what we can do for you. If you and your spouse are seeking an uncontested divorce look at our uncontested divorce page for more information.