Contested Divorce

Westlake Village Contested Divorce Lawyer

Strategic Advocacy for Contested Divorces in California  

Navigating the complexities of a contested divorce can be emotionally and legally challenging. At Richard Ross Associates, our team of experienced divorce attorneys in Westlake Village is dedicated to providing robust legal representation during these trying times. We specialize in contested divorces, helping our clients understand the intricacies of the process and advocating for their best interests.

Call Richard Ross Associates today at (805) 777-1011 or contact us online to schedule a meeting with our contested divorce attorney in Westlake Village!

Understanding Contested Divorce

A contested divorce emerges when spouses cannot reach common ground on pivotal issues like property division, child custody, spousal support, etc. Diverging from uncontested divorces where mutual agreement prevails, contested divorces introduce conflicts that necessitate legal intervention for resolution.

Within a contested divorce, each party typically engages legal representation to champion their rights and advocate their case in a court of law. Although emotionally demanding, this adversarial process becomes more manageable with Richard Ross Associates' support. With our team, you can confidently navigate these challenges and strive for a favorable resolution.

Contested Divorce Requirements in California

California, like many states, follows a no-fault divorce system. This means neither party must prove fault or wrongdoing to obtain a divorce. However, specific requirements must be met to initiate a contested divorce in the state.

Firstly, one of the spouses must have been a resident of California for at least six months before filing for divorce. Additionally, the filing spouse must have lived in the county where the divorce is filed for at least three months. These residency requirements are essential for establishing jurisdiction and initiating the legal process.

Once these residency prerequisites are satisfied, the filing spouse can submit a divorce petition. This document delineates the grounds for divorce and urges the court to address various issues, including the equitable division of assets, child custody arrangements, and spousal support considerations. Navigating this intricate process necessitates the expertise of a skilled contested divorce attorney from Westlake Village, such as those at Richard Ross Associates, ensuring that you are guided with precision through each step of the procedure.

How Long Does a Contested Divorce Take?

The duration of a contested divorce in California varies depending on various factors. The complexity of the issues in dispute, the willingness of both parties to negotiate, and the court's schedule all contribute to the timeline.

On average, a contested divorce in California can take several months to over a year to resolve. The legal process involves multiple stages, including discovery, settlement negotiations, and potentially a trial. The discovery phase allows each party to gather information and evidence relevant to the case. Settlement negotiations aim to find common ground on critical issues, while a trial becomes necessary if an agreement cannot be reached.

At Richard Ross Associates, we understand the importance of efficiently resolving contested divorces without compromising our client's rights. Our experienced attorneys work diligently to streamline the process, employing negotiation skills and, if necessary, robust courtroom advocacy.

Contact Our Westlake Village Contested Divorce Attorney Today

Embarking on the path of a contested divorce is a challenging journey that demands both resilience and strategic legal guidance. At Richard Ross Associates, our Westlake Village contested divorce lawyers are committed to providing comprehensive and effective legal representation. We guide our clients through every step of the process, ensuring their rights are protected and advocating for the best possible outcome. If you face the challenges of a contested divorce, contact us today for a consultation. Our team is ready to stand by your side and help you confidently move forward.

Contact Richard Ross Associates today to meet with our contested divorce lawyer in Westlake Village!


  • 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.