What Is a Contentious Divorce in Toronto?
When divorcing spouses are unable to come to agreements in regards to the legal separation and divorce proceedings, the divorce is considered a contentious divorce, or contested divorce. Contention can arise in such matters like child custody and access, spousal support, child support, and the division of assets and debts. Anytime one party contests any part of the divorce, it then proceeds in court.
In order to contest a divorce, an application must be completed and submitted to the court. The application is drafted by your divorce lawyer in Toronto and officially filed with the court. The court then notifies the other party you have filed a contention. The other party is given a short period of time to meet with their divorce lawyer and file their response to the initial application.
Once the court receives their response, they schedule a mandatory meeting between both parties and their lawyers, with a judge preceding over the meeting. This hearing is called a case conference. The purpose of the case conference is for the judge to attempt to facilitate the negotiation process between both parties to resolve the disputes on their own, with assistance from their lawyers.
In the event there are still unresolved issues not resolved during the case conference, the judge will revisit them during the settlement conference, a separate court hearing. In Ontario, it is mandatory for both parties to be present during the settlement conference. The goal of the court and judge is to attempt to resolve disputes without having to proceed with a trial.
If disputes cannot be resolved after the settlement conference, the case will then proceed to trial. During the trial both parties have the right to present evidence and call witnesses for questioning under oath by their lawyers. After all evidence and witnesses have been presented to the court, the judge will make a ruling on the disputed matters.
At Niroomand Family Law, our family lawyers in Toronto have extensive experience in assisting people reach agreements and settlements during a contentious divorce. We work hard on our clients’ behalf to resolve matters. In addition, we do rely upon other professionals for expert testimony, like forensic accountants, family counselors, child protection services, and financial advisors. Call our law office at 800-567-0256 to schedule a consultation to learn more and obtain professional legal assistance.