A divorce is "contested" when only one party consents to a divorce, or when both parties consent to a divorce but they cannot agree to a property division or child custody arraignments. When a divorce is contested, a court must resolve the issues on which the parties cannot reach an agreement. The end of a marriage requires the resolution of many issues, and each of these issues presents an opportunity for dispute between two people who are likely already not on the best of terms. If you have children, what are the custody arraignments going to be? Who is going to pay child support? Whose health insurance will cover the children? How will property and debts be divided? Will one party pay alimony? Will someone keep the house, or will it be sold? These issues can be a minefield.
Nelson Law firmly believes that it is in each spouse's best interests (and the children's) when the parties can resolve these issues before seeing an attorney. Doing so will make an already emotionally and financially taxing event much easier. However, that is not always possible. When it's not, Nelson Law has the knowledge and experience to advocate for your interests and help you wrap up one chapter of your life and begin a new one.
An uncontested divorce doesn't necessarily mean an amicable divorce (although it certainly can, and we've done those too). A divorce is uncontested when the parties are able to agree to a resolution of all issues necessary to terminate their marriage. An uncontested divorce can involve one attorney representing both parties, or it can involve separate attorneys representing each party. The attorney or attorneys draft a stipulation and settlement agreement addressing all issues, which is presented to the court for approval. Uncontested divorces tend to be fast, private, inexpensive, and much less stressful than a contested divorce.
If you've already worked out most of the details of your divorce, Nelson Law can help you understand the steps necessary to complete your divorce, draft a settlement agreement and decree of divorce likely to receive court approval, and get you on your way to brighter days.
Child Support and Custody
Many, many unmarried couples have children. When those relationships end, child support and custody issues get raised. Nelson Law's attorneys know this area of the law and can assist you with:
Calculating child support
Establishing child support
Modifying existing child support orders
Establishing temporary child support
Establishing wage withholding orders
Enforcing existing child support orders
Obtaining judgments for retroactive child support
Nelson Law offers legal services for families who are looking to adopt non-biological children, to stepparents who wants to adopt their spouse's children, and for foster parent who have been caring for children.
Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
Considering over half of marriages end in divorce, which can take years and costs tens of thousands of dollars, it often makes sense for couples who plan to get married (and even couples who are already married) to enter into a written agreement specifying issues material to the termination of that marriage--just in case. Hopefully you'll never need to think about your prenup again, but if you do, having one will likely save you immense time, money, and stress down the road--especially if you are getting married later in life and each spouse is bringing existing assets into the marriage.
Nelson Law can help you fashion the prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that is right for you and give you the peace of mind to know you're protected if things don't work out like you expect.