Divorce Guide

Divorce Guide

Contested Divorce Petition

Contested divorce is applied to the court when issues related to children or property are not solved by the parties before going to court. Contested divorce petition is filed with the court stating the issues to be solved by the court and requesting to get divorced.

Steps Involved in Preparing a Contested Divorce Petition:

  1. Meeting a lawyer
  2. Preparing the divorce petition
  3. Serving the petition to your spouse
  4. After getting response on the serving, the next process is discovery
  5. Settlement and Trial.

In contested divorce petition, issues like alimony, child custody, child support, property division and debt payment are involved. To file for contested divorce petition on your own is not an easy job. You can consult a lawyer who can help you in your case.

Meeting with an Attorney:

The appointed lawyer will interview you thoroughly. In this interview, your lawyer will collect all documents related to marital assets, children of the marriage and any other issues. After determining of what you are entitled to, the lawyer will prepare your contested divorce petition.

Prepare the Divorce Petition

Once the lawyer gets all the necessary information to be filed in the petition, he/she will prepare it and file it with the court. This petition is a request by the spouse seeking for divorce.

Divorce Petition served upon your Spouse:

Once your petition is filed with the court, your lawyer will serve it to your spouse. Your spouse can be served personally, by e-mail or by a deputy sheriff. A notice will be published in local newspapers if you donít know where your spouse is residing currently.

Your Spouse responds to the Petition:

Once your spouse receives the petition, it is his/her duty to respond within 30 days. Once response is received, your case will move to the next level that is to the discovery and settlement stages.


During discovery, the parties can request for temporary orders for child support or alimony from the courts. Spouses can get detailed information from each other about custody, income, marital assets, and any other issues relevant to their case. This can be done through document requests.


Many judges provide with the option of settling the issues before visiting the court. Options like mediation and collaborative process are available. If these issues are not solved outside the court, then the case will be scheduled for the divorce court.


During your divorce trial, your state laws determine how quickly your case goes to trial. The judge hears both parties of the case at the trial. The decision will be then made regarding all the issues. The time the judge takes to write an order depends on how complex is your case.

In contested divorce petition, it is difficult to make changes after the petition is filed with the court. Formal request for contested divorce starts with the petition. The court will check all the necessary documents attached with the contested divorce petition and will grant your divorce accordingly. Rules for filing the petition varies according to the state where you want to get divorced.

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