When the spouses are separating and cannot agree on any of the major issues, such as custody and access of the children, child and spousal support, or the division of the spouses assets, the divorce becomes contentious or contested. Often negotiations become strained or impossible and the spouses are forced to proceed in court.
The litigation process is commenced when one of the spouses files an Application in court and serves a copy of the Application on the other spouse. The Application contains the basic background information and a list of orders that the spouse would like the court to make. From the date that the other spouse has been served the Application, he or she will typically have 30 days to prepare an Answer, which is a response to the claims and background information contained in the Application.
Once the litigation process is commenced, there is many steps that will be taken over a period of many months and potentially years until the matter is finally heard at a Trial. This may include a First Appearance, a Case Conference, a Settlement Conference, and a Trial Management Conference. While each of these court appearances have different objectives, each court appearance is an opportunity to bring the parties together and attempt to resolve the outstanding issues.
Although a vast majority of matters are resolved prior to trial, a good lawyer is often able to ensure the matter is resolved sooner by making the best use of each of the court appearances.
If you anticipate or know that your matter is going to be a contentious divorce, make sure you have a lawyer that can successfully argue your position, please call our office at 613-325-2200 to book an initial consultation or fill out the information below and we will contact you to set up an initial consultation.