Contested Divorce means that you are not able to resolve all of the 5 main issues which need to be resolved before being able to obtain a divorce. These are:
- Property Division;
- Debt Division;
- Spousal Support;
- Child Support; and
- Child Custody.
Courts generally do not allow you to divorce without resolving all of the 5 main issues. Those need to be settled or decided upon before getting a divorce. If you cannot settle your issues, you will need to claim and argue them through the Courts.
Contested Divorce process in BC
This is usually done through filing the Notice of Family Claim with the BC Supreme Court. Once you complete the form, you will need to serve it to your spouse. He/she will have to respond to your claim and perhaps file his/her own counterclaim seeking any of the five items that apply to his/her case.
After this, both you and your spouse will need to file and serve Financial Statements so that the judge to divide property and/or pay spousal and child support.
Thereafter, you and your spouse will need to attend a Judicial Case Conference in which a judge, both side lawyers will sit with you and your spouse in an informal setting and try to settle your issues. If no settlement is reached, then litigation continues and ends with a trial.
If all else fails and you have to go to trial over your issues. Needless to say, trials are intensive, traumatic at points and very lengthy.
Consult with our experienced Pax Law Family Lawyers at all stages of your case to ensure you obtain what you deserve. Sometimes saving on trial costs can cost you more in losing assets/custody because you didn’t know what to plead/argue or prove/show to the judge.