Contested Divorce

Thousand Oaks Contested Divorce Lawyer

Can't Agree? Contact an Experienced Law Firm to Represent Your Interests

Going through  a divorce can be a painful and complicated process for everyone involved. If you are, consider talking to an experienced Thousand Oak divorce attorney from Richard Ross Associates. Invariably, there are many  issues to be negotiated and settled, including property divisiondebt division, and spousal support. If you and your spouse have children, then there are even more arrangements to be resolved regarding custodychild support, and visitation.

When both parties are in agreement regarding all of these issues, then you can proceed with what is known as an uncontested divorce. If, however, you disagree on one or more of these crucial points, then the divorce will be considered contested, and steps must be taken to reach a reasonable resolution. Throughout this process, information will be assembled, reviewed, papers will be filed back and forth, both sides will construct arguments, and unless an agreement is reached prior to trial, a judge will have the final say in deciding what is fair. That is why it is crucial that you have an attorney who understands local and state rules and laws and will zealously advocate for you in the courtroom.

Serving Clients in Westlake Village & Thousand Oaks

In the event that your divorce is contested, and legal issues are not resolved during the divorce process, your case will proceed to trial.  In this case, it is probably unwise to deal with this challenge without a highly experienced effective Westlake Village divorce lawyer representing you. Attorney Richard Ross has over 40 years of experience in litigation and is a California Board-Certified Family Law Specialist.  At Richard Ross Associates, we  are determined and committed to protecting the rights of those we represent, and we take the time to understand our client’s  needs and concerns at every stage of the legal process. We will be your voice, working with you as a team, fighting to achieve the outcome you seek and desire. No matter who you're up against, our law firm will respond effectively and strongly for you. Contact us today, and we can begin collaborating with you to create and implement a strategy that best suits your situation and your goals.


  • I heartily recommend him to anybody in need of a well qualified, results-oriented, family law specialist.

    “I would not hesitate to, again, retain the legal services of Richard Ross.”

  • Our family and our dignity have been restored.

    “Mr. Ross and his supportive, competent staff put their hearts into their work and literally turned our lives around.”

  • The results far exceeded my expectations.

    “The entire staff at Richard Ross Associates really helped me through my divorce and they were with me the whole way.”

  • Extremely thorough and professional!

    “Richard has helped me through a very difficult divorce and I can't say enough good things about him.”

  • Polite, caring, and quick to respond.

    “Richard Ross is a subject matter expert in the field of family law.”


  • This is very important: If you have separated from your spouse before one of you has filed for dissolution of marriage or legal separation, avoid agreeing to and placing into effect a temporary parenting plan arrangement regarding the children unless you will be able to live with this arrangement after the divorce papers have been filed. Once you begin a parenting plan that seems to be working, it becomes the "status quo." It is very difficult to convince a mediator or judge to change the status quo, especially if it is working or appears to be working and is not detrimental to the minor children.
  • If you have not received a judgment dissolving your marriage before the end of the year, you may file an individual tax return under the status of "married, filing separately" or a joint tax return with your spouse. You should consult your accountant as to the advantages of these options. You may obtain special information booklets regarding tax information for divorce or separated individuals from your local IRS office or read the IRS booklet online.
  • To file an action for divorce, also known as dissolution of marriage, a person must have resided in the state of California for six months and in the county where the action is filed for three months prior to filing the petition in court. This is true of either the petitioner or the respondent - either person can meet the test and allow a filing. If your spouse meets the residency requirement, you can file even if you do not meet it yourself.
  • The court can and usually will order you to move out of your residence if your spouse convinces the court that you have been violent toward your spouse or threatened your spouse. You could be given ex-parte notice to be in court the next day because your spouse is seeking an order to make you move out and stay out. You can be ordered to leave immediately and not return even if your spouse is not on the property title or lease agreement! Once you are ordered to leave, it is not likely that you will be allowed to return.
  • Before you get a divorce, photocopy all relevant financial documents that you can obtain and store them off-site with a trusted friend or relative. Do not store them in the trunk of your car where they can easily be found and removed by your spouse. There may be both personal and strategic reasons not to tip off your spouse that documents are being reviewed for a possible dissolution proceeding. Make copies of documents that you find in the residence and return the original documents to their original location as soon as possible so that your spouse won't notice that they are missing. It is often advisable to make the photocopies when you are sure your spouse is away for an extended time, such as during a workday. It is advisable to gather as many relevant financial documents as possible while they are still available and before they have been removed or destroyed by your spouse. This will significantly reduce the cost of divorce litigation if the documents do not have to be recovered later. It will also permit us to get a true picture of all community assets and debts as soon as possible.