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Everything you need to know about contentious divorce

If you are considering getting a divorce, and you do not know how to do it, we invite you to discover one of the most used types of divorce in the daily practice of the Courts: The contentious divorce. What is a contentious divorce? How do you start the contentious divorce proceedings? What pensions can be claimed by contentious divorce? What measures will be agreed after the contentious divorce?

What is a contentious divorce?

Contentious divorce is a type of divorce, which happens when there is no consensus on the marital breakdown or the form of separation. It is important to note that to start the proceedings for a contentious divorce it is only necessary that one of the parties wants to divorce. Thus, there is no possibility of opposing the divorce, but rather of answering the points on which one of the spouses does not agree. And it is that the judge does not decide on whether or not the spouses should divorce, but will be in charge of regulating the conditions of said divorce.

Therefore, the contentious divorce would be the opposite of the divorce by mutual agreement, which is always a type of divorce that is achieved through the agreement and the will of the parties to agree on the conditions that will govern the divorce.

Sometimes it happens that a divorce procedure by mutual agreement, due to lack of agreement on any of the points, becomes a contentious divorce procedure. In the same way, the opposite can happen, that is, that a contentious divorce becomes a divorce by mutual agreement because the parties have been able to agree on all points.

How does the contentious divorce proceedings start?

As the family lawyers say, the contentious divorce procedure begins by filing a claim by one of the spouses addressed to the Courts of First Instance of the spouses' last domicile. 

Along with the initial claim for contentious divorce, a proposed regulatory agreement will be attached, and if the judge approves it, it will be the document that will govern and regulate the relations between the spouses from the Divorce Judgment. In addition to the regulatory agreement, as many documents as the parties want to present will also be attached to the claim to prove the claims they want to assert in the divorce proceedings.

With due advice and trust, it will be necessary to know the matter well and find the most appropriate legal response in each case, analyzing what the situation of each is. The reasons that lead to contentious proceedings are multiple and varied, which is why personalized advice is essential.

What pensions can spouses claim through contentious divorce proceedings?

-Alimony: It is the duty imposed on one or more people to ensure the subsistence of other people. Therefore, alimony in a contentious divorce will consist of the duty imposed on one of the spouses against the other spouse or against the children.

-Compensatory pension: It is a type of pension that is produced in favor of one of the spouses to compensate him for the patrimonial loss that the divorce produces. The spouse who benefits from the compensatory pension will be entitled to compensation that may consist of a temporary or indefinite pension, or a single benefit, as determined in the regulatory agreement or in the judgment.

-Pension or compensation for work reasons: The right to economic compensation for work reasons constitutes a norm of the economic regime that allows one of the spouses to be compensated out of the earnings of the other when certain requirements are met.

What measures will be agreed through the contentious divorce procedure?

The measures that will be agreed after a contentious divorce will be the following:

-Custody and custody of children: At this point the type of custody and custody will be regulated, as well as the detailed way in which it will be carried out. The custody of the children may be through joint custody or through individual custody.

In the event that the spouses have pets, it will also be resolved after the divorce as to which spouse will have custody of the pets.

-Visit regime: At this point the regulatory agreement will be in charge of establishing a communication and stay regime between the children and the parents.

-Use of the home and family furnishings: The regulatory agreement will be responsible for assigning the family home to one of the spouses. The agreement will also regulate the material goods that have accumulated during the marriage. On this point there are many controversies between the parties, and it is that it may happen that one of the spouses does not have an alternative home to go to live in another place that is not the family home.

-Contribution to the burdens of the marriage: The regulatory agreement will be in charge of regulating the assets that the spouses have in common, and of course, the family burdens of both the children and the material assets (mortgage, debts, etc.).

-Marital economic regime: It must be specified if it is a marriage in a community property regime, separation of property, or of any other type. 

-Alimony and others to claim: The type of pension to be claimed, the reason, and the amount must be specified in the agreement.

What are the main characteristics of the contentious divorce procedure?

The contentious divorce claim contains aspects that make it different from the mutual consent divorce procedure.

The main characteristics are the following:

-The contentious divorce claim must be accompanied by the regulatory agreement, a marriage certificate, the birth certificates of the minor children, and the documentation that is necessary to prove the claims that are to be asserted in the proceedings of divorce.

-Each spouse will have his lawyer and his attorney.

-Once the contentious divorce claim is filed, the opposing party, that is, the other spouse, will have 20 business days to respond to the divorce claim.

-In a contentious divorce procedure, it is the judge who is in charge of resolving the application measures after the divorce: Guardianship and custody, visitation, use of the home and family furnishings, contribution to the burdens of marriage, matrimonial property regime, alimony and other pensions to claim.

-In order to divorce, it is an essential requirement that a minimum of three months have elapsed since the celebration of the marriage.


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and our lawyers specializing in family law will study your specific case. 

At Forcam Abogados we have offices in Barcelona, Tarragona, Reus and Tarrega.