Fairfax Contested Divorce Lawyer

The decision to file for divorce is almost always a difficult one. A contested divorce can make the divorce process in Fairfax, VA, even more overwhelming and stressful. If you and your spouse are having difficulty resolving issues surrounding the end of your marriage, you deserve to have an experienced Fairfax contested divorce lawyer in your corner. 

The Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury, PLC is dedicated exclusively to helping clients navigate complex family law issues. Our award-winning lawyers are here to help you minimize stress and resolve contested issues in the most favorable way possible.

If you have questions about how a lawyer can help you through this difficult time, Contact our law offices in Fairfax, Virginia, today at (703) 271-6519 to schedule a no-obligation consultation today.

How The Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury, PLC Can Help With Your Contested Divorce in Fairfax, VA

How The Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury, PLC Can Help With Your Contested Divorce in Fairfax, VA

Not all divorces proceed amicably. Given the emotionally-charged nature of a split, it’s very possible that you and your spouse could disagree over material issues. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to obtain a divorce. It just means that the process will likely be more complex.

You deserve an experienced Fairfax family law attorney as your advocate. At The Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury, PLC, our experienced legal team has earned both a perfect-10 Avvo rating and the Avvo Client’s Choice award for our exceptional legal representation.

Hiring us gives you an attorney who will:

  • Handle all paperwork related to your legal claim
  • Make sure you understand your legal options and the divorce process
  • Aggressively work to gather all evidence to prove your case
  • Defend you against your spouse’s unfair allegations
  • Represent you in court and at all hearings

When critical aspects of your family’s future are on the line, you can count on our trusted Fairfax family lawyers to go to battle for you. Contact us today to learn more about our skills and experience.

What Is a Contested Divorce in Virginia?

A divorce is “contested” when two spouses cannot reach an agreement on one or more issues related to the dissolution of marriage. Your divorce will be considered “contested” if you and your spouse are unable to agree on even one single issue. Your divorce will also be considered contested if one spouse does not agree to the divorce.

Examples of the most commonly-contested issues in the divorce process include:

As the name suggests, a contested divorce can be much more messy than an uncontested divorce, where the spouses are able to reach an agreement without court intervention. Contested divorces can be time-consuming, contentious, and expensive. Often, mediation is required to resolve one or more issues. 

In cases involving the most extreme disagreement, the contested issues must be resolved in family court.

Understanding the Contested Divorce Process in Virginia

Like most states, Virginia divorce laws allow two spouses to obtain a no-fault divorce. A no-fault divorce is different from an uncontested divorce. In other words, you may obtain a contested divorce without proof of fault.

You will, however, have to satisfy the separation requirements under Virginia law. To obtain a divorce, you must live apart from your spouse for at least one year. If you and your spouse enter a separation agreement and have no minor children, the one-year separation term can be reduced to six months.

Once you have completed the relevant separation period, here’s what you should expect to happen:

  • Your attorney will help you prepare the petition for divorce
  • The petition for divorce will be filed with the court
  • The petition for divorce will be served on your spouse, who has 21 days to respond
  • A discovery process will begin
  • Settlement negotiations will take place
  • As a last result, a divorce trial will occur

Before beginning the divorce process, either you or your spouse must have been a Virginia resident for at least six months.

Because contested divorces tend to take time, you should also be prepared for a family court judge to make temporary orders regarding spousal support, child support, and child custody issues.

What Information Is Included in a Fairfax Divorce Petition?

The divorce petition contains basic information about your marriage and the request for divorce, such as:

  • Your name, address, phone number, and contact information (unless there is reason to keep the information confidential)
  • A statement that you satisfy the six-month residency requirement
  • Your separation date
  • The spouses’ legal names before the marriage
  • The grounds for the divorce, or a statement requesting a no-fault divorce
  • Information about any minor children
  • A request for child support or child custody

You will also be required to pay a fee to petition for divorce in Fairfax County.

What Happens if My Spouse Does Not Respond to the Divorce Petition?

If your spouse fails to respond within 21 days of being served, it is possible that the court may enter a default judgment. 

If your spouse fails to respond within the 21-day period, our lawyers in Fairfax will begin the process of requesting a default divorce.

What Happens During the Discovery Process in a Fairfax Contested Divorce Case? 

Each spouse will be required to provide information to their spouse and lawyers during the discovery process. Our lawyers have many different tools that we can use to obtain the information necessary to build your case. 

We will: 

  • Submit written requests for information, or interrogatories, that your spouse must answer under oath
  • File requests for the production of documents, including financial records, bank statements, and other critical information
  • File subpoenas to request relevant documents from third parties with access to information
  • Conduct in-person depositions to gain information and insight

The goal of discovery is to gather enough information to convince a judge to resolve contested issues in your favor. 

Evidence that is obtained during discovery can be used for many different reasons, including:

  • Establishing your right to spousal support or child support
  • Proving that you have grounds for an at-fault divorce
  • Establishing your right to secure sole child custody
  • Determining whether your spouse is hiding assets to avoid fair property division

However, it’s also important to remember that you will also be required to provide your spouse and their lawyers with these types of information.

At The Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury, PLC, we know how sensitive these proceedings can become. Our law firm is here to help you navigate all of the complex issues that you are facing. To learn more about the discovery process and how we can protect you, give us a call to arrange a consultation today.

What Happens During Divorce Settlement Negotiations in Virginia?

Once our lawyers have the evidence we need to support your case, we will begin the settlement negotiation process. The goal is to agree to a favorable divorce settlement agreement without the need for further court intervention. In fact, some judges will require couples to engage in mediation before a divorce trial can begin.

During the settlement process, we will attempt to reach an agreement on the key issues that have been disputed in your case. Often, two spouses will be able to reach an agreement based on the evidence uncovered during the discovery process.

What Happens if My Spouse Refuses To Agree to a Fair Divorce Settlement?

When a couple is unable to reach an agreement, the case remains in the discovery process until a trial occurs.

When a divorce proceeds to trial, the process is very similar to any other litigation process. Each spouse is entitled to be represented by a lawyer. Your lawyers will present evidence, interview witnesses, and plead your case to a judge.

The judge will come to a decision regarding complex issues, such as:

  • Child support
  • Child custody
  • Spousal support
  • Division of marital assets and debts
  • A spouse’s continuing obligations to provide insurance coverage
  • Grandparents’ visitation rights

The issues involved will depend on the specific issues that are contested in your case. While the judge will issue a final order, it’s also important to remember that you have the right to appeal the judge’s decision.

It’s always important to have an experienced attorney representing you throughout the contested divorce process. To learn more about how our experienced attorneys can help your family, call The Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury, PLC today.

How Long Does It Take To Get a Contested Divorce in Virginia?

The timeline of a contested divorce can vary dramatically. There really is no average timeframe. 

The amount of time it will take to finalize a contested divorce depends on the complexity of the issues in your case. Having an experienced attorney by your side can be the key to resolving contested issues as quickly and favorably as possible.

Contact an Experienced Fairfax Contested Divorce Lawyer for a Case Review Today

Your family’s situation is different from anyone else’s. If you and a spouse are unable to resolve important issues related to ending your marriage, call The Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury, PLC today. Our experienced Fairfax contested divorce lawyers can help you reach the most favorable outcome possible.

Our family law firm in Fairfax, VA, also provides: