5 Key Factors to Consider in a Contested Divorce

Divorce lawyers can assist you in reaching a negotiated settlement outside of court. However, if both parties cannot agree on all issues, the case will be contested and go to trial.

A court will make a decision based on Florida law as well as other considerations. These are some essential things to think about in a contentious divorce.

Child Custody and Visitation

Regarding custody and visitation, the courts decide based on what they believe is in your child’s best interests. Whether you have joint or physical custody depends on various factors, including your relationship with the other parent, how well your home is run, the school your child attends, and your ability to provide a stable environment.

Sometimes, a judge may order a social investigation in which a licensed social worker visits both homes and interviews family members. A favorable social investigation can help to change a court’s custody and visitation orders. However, this is rare as judges generally want parents to see their children regularly. It is essential to have an experienced attorney who can negotiate with your ex and protect your rights.

Property Division

Property division disputes are the source of the most complexity in divorce. A contested divorce Tampa specialist lawyer may assist clients in resolving these issues to benefit both sides equally.

Most states adhere to the equal sharing of wages and assets acquired during a marriage. It means that when a judge reviews a couple’s case, they consider marital and separate property in the final settlement decision.

Separate property includes anything you owned exclusively before getting married and can consist of things like a home purchased before you got together. Marital property, on the other hand, refers to any assets obtained during your marriage. The court will review the state’s laws to determine what is considered a fair share of each spouse’s estate.


Money that one spouse gives to the other to help sustain the living they enjoyed during the marriage is known as alimony, sometimes known as spousal maintenance. It is generally awarded when there is a substantial difference in earning power between two parties. The court will examine each party’s income, lifestyle, marketable skills, and other factors to determine how much to award.

Many contested divorce cases involve contentious disputes regarding the amount and length of alimony payments. Both parties must participate in required disclosure and other discovery processes to come to a just agreement. These can be lengthy and complicated and may result in a trial. Having a contested divorce attorney with experience handling these matters is essential.

Parenting Plans

When parents divorce or separate, they must create a parenting plan and submit it to Florida courts for approval. 

Time-sharing agreements, which specify how and when a kid will spend time with each parent, are a part of parenting plans. They also address decision-making responsibilities and which parent will make critical decisions for the child.

Parenting plans are generally a component of a marital settlement agreement in contested divorce cases or as part of a paternity action.

Child Support Guidelines

In some cases, spouses disagree about how much child support will be paid and how long. These disagreements often lead to contested divorce proceedings.

The total net income of both parents and the amount of overnight visits each parent has with the children are usually taken into account by the state’s child support standards. However, a judge has the discretion to deviate from these guidelines.

To get the right amount of child support ordered, hiring an experienced contested divorce attorney is essential. It reduces the likelihood that you will need to return to court for future child support modification.