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Miami Contested Divorce Lawyers

At Miami Family Law Group, PLLC, we're committed to helping our clients' voices be heard throughout their divorce proceedings.

Trusted Miami, FL, Contested Divorce Lawyers Who Are Ready to Fight for You

A couple who cannot reconcile their difference and needs a contested divorce attorney in Miami to divide assets.Here at Miami Family Law Group, PLLC, as a family law firm, one of our main goals is to help spouses through the divorce process, reducing conflict and friction wherever possible. The divorce process is incredibly important as it allows couples to finalize important agreements such as the division of the marital estate, the custody of any children, and whether or not child support and/or spousal support will be necessary.

In rare circumstances, spouses will enter the divorce proceedings on the same page, with no disagreements. In these circumstances, an uncontested divorce may be possible.

For most couples, however, there will be conflict and disagreements about at least one of the divorce terms, often many. This is usually the case when it comes to child custody agreements, the division of marital property, and spousal maintenance.

When couples can't agree on all of the important aspects of a divorce, it is called a contested divorce. The best way to navigate this is to seek legal representation from a skilled divorce attorney who can help you move forward. It is within both parties' interests to come to an agreement on as many terms as possible, as it removes the need for court intervention that is costly and time-consuming.

Here at Miami Family Law Group, PLLC, our team of family law lawyers has over 20 years of experience handling contested and uncontested divorces for clients across Florida.

Contact an experienced divorce attorney today to discuss your divorce case at 305-520-7874.

Understanding Contested Divorce in Florida

Some divorces are simple and easy, and both parties fully agree on every matter involved in the process. However, in the majority of divorces, both spouses cannot reach an agreement on their own and must involve the court to divide assets and child custody for them.

A contested divorce occurs when the divorcing couple cannot mutually agree on the terms of the divorce. If you're going through a contested divorce, hiring a competent contested divorce attorney is essential to achieve a fair outcome.

Your divorce attorney can help the judge understand your wants and needs in the divorce process and ensure that your voice is heard throughout the proceedings.

The Contested Divorce Process

In a contested divorce in Florida, the process will begin when either spouse involved files a divorce petition. This petition is filed with the local court and will result in your spouse being served with divorce papers. At this point, your spouse has the chance to respond to the petition.

It is always recommended that both parties seek legal representation from a skilled divorce lawyer. If one party decides to seek representation and the other does not, they may be at a massive disadvantage.

The first tactic that your contested divorce attorney may utilize is negotiation. They will arrange meetings with your spouse and their attorney if they have one, and steer the discussion, keeping it productive and cutting things short if tempers get raised and the meeting becomes unproductive.

If you and your spouse cannot sit down together without conflict, they may choose to utilize mediation instead.

Divorce Mediation 

If you cannot come to amicable agreements with your spouse while sitting down in the same room together, your attorneys may decide mediation is the right path instead.

With mediation, you will not be in the same room as your spouse. Instead, you and your attorney will be in one room, and your spouse and their attorney will be in another room while a third party, often a previous Judge or neutral third party, will handle the back and forth.

Utilizing mediation can allow you and your spouse to move forward without conflict. When it comes to issues such as child custody, child support, spousal support, and how to divide marital property, it can be much easier to keep calm and collected when you are not face-to-face with your spouse.

In the event that a couple has agreed upon terms through mediation, the mediator will typically draft a document that outlines their agreement. A formal consent order is created if the agreement includes matters such as child support or custody. This document and the final divorce paperwork can then be submitted to the divorce court to be finalized.


If you and your spouse still cannot come to an agreement, even after using negotiation and mediation tactics, it may become necessary for court involvement. At this point, both parties will have an opportunity to argue their case in front of a family law courtroom. It will then be down to the Judge to make the final decisions. This is one of the reasons why it is usually beneficial to come to an agreement outside of court, as the Judges ruling may be one that neither party is truly happy with.

While a family court trial may seem scary, it can often be necessary, and if it comes down to a family law hearing, your attorney will need to be prepared to fight your case. The contested divorce attorneys here at Miami Family Law Group, PLLC divorce are equally as skilled in aggressive litigation as they are in mediation and negotiation tactics, meaning we are prepared to handle your case, no matter what direction it takes.

Complications In A Contested Divorce

Because of their very nature, a contested divorce is often extremely stressful for both parties. As the stakes are so high and any decisions made in the divorce will likely affect both parties for many years to come, it can be easy to let emotions cloud your judgment and the animosity you and your spouse may have toward each other can pose a serious obstacle.

Often, this means that communications will break down easily, and when one spouse becomes angry or upset, they may make decisions out of anger or spite instead of from a place of clarity. In other situations, such as deciding upon child custody, both parties may be fighting for what they believe to be in the best interests of the children involved, but this may be very different. In these situations, neither party may be willing to back down.

Further complications can include false allegations of domestic violence, true allegations of domestic violence, and the division of property when a couple has a large number of assets.

No-Fault Vs At-Fault Divorce

In the state of Florida, you can either file a no-fault divorce or an at-fault divorce. Most couples file for a no-fault divorce, which is when the marriage has broken down, and it is no longer possible for the couple to come together to make important decisions or live together. There is no burden of proof for a no-fault divorce. A no-fault divorce is also the best option if one spouse wants to get divorced, but the other does not. As you do not have a burden of proof to prove fault, it is difficult to challenge.

Florida also recognizes at-fault divorces, which is when one spouse has committed a fault that the state recognizes, such as adultery, abandonment, and cruelty.

These divorces usually take a lot longer as one spouse will not present a compelling case backed with strong evidence that the other party has indeed acted at fault. If it cannot be proven that the accused party did act at fault, the divorce becomes a no-fault divorce.

If you can prove the fault, the courts and Judge may look more favorably on you when it comes to important decisions when your spouse is responsible for the breakdown of the marriage. This includes looking more favorably on demands for custody or the allocation of a higher percentage of the marital estate.

How Does a Judge Divide Property in a Contested Divorce in Florida?

In a contested divorce, a judge typically determines the division of property. Florida uses a 50/50 method to divide property in divorce cases, meaning that the judge will seek to assign each spouse equitable portions of the shared assets. This split of assets may not necessarily be equal. Several factors may affect this division, such as:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The financial circumstances of both parties
  • The career and education of each party
  • Each spouse's contribution to the marriage
  • Any minor children shared by the couple.

How Does a Judge Determine Child Custody in a Contested Divorce in Florida?

Child custody is often an issue that arises in contested divorces, as many divorcing couples cannot mutually agree on issues of custody. In these cases, a judge will need to decide for them.

The judge will consider many factors when determining child custody such as the ages of the children, the residences of the divorcing parents, and the relationships between the children and both parents.

However, all of these factors center around the best interests of the children. The judge will determine a fair agreement that keeps the children's needs as the focus.  If both parents are fit to continue caring for the child, the judge will also attempt to make this agreement fair for them.

If you are seeking full custody in a contested divorce, you need a qualified contested divorce lawyer on your side to improve your outcomes. Our experienced divorce lawyers are here to assist you with child custody and all other matters involved in your divorce.

What Is a Request for Temporary Relief in a Florida Divorce?

Contested divorces often take many months from beginning to end. Implementing temporary agreements for child custody, time-sharing, child support, or alimony during this time can be highly beneficial for divorcing couples with children.

By requesting temporary relief, you may come to a short-term agreement about issues within the divorce proceedings that lasts until the divorce is finalized. This agreement can ensure that both spouses and any children are taken care of during a lengthy divorce process, even before both parties can reach a final decision. It can also help you and your spouse test-drive an agreement that may become permanent once your divorce is finalized.

If you're considering implementing temporary relief, our experienced contested divorce attorneys in Florida can help. We can walk you through this process and help you and your spouse determine a short-term agreement that works for both of you.

How Long Will My Divorce Take?

Once a spouse has filed the divorce petition with the court, a mandatory waiting period of 20 days must pass before the divorce can be finalized. This period allows couples to reconsider whether they wish to proceed with the divorce. After the waiting period has passed, the length of time it takes to complete a divorce depends on the ability of the couple to reach an agreement on the terms of the divorce.

Mediation and numerous court hearings can greatly extend the time it takes to complete a divorce, and in some cases, a contested divorce can take from 6 months to several years to be finalized. To ensure that the process is completed as quickly as possible, it is important to enlist the help of a reliable contested divorce lawyer with experience in skilled negotiation.

In What Circumstances Do I Need A Contested Divorce Lawyer?

A divorce agreement is legally binding, which means that your divorce's outcome could affect your life for a long time. The assets you receive following your marriage, decisions regarding spousal maintenance, and any agreements relating to child custody or support will have a huge impact on how you live your life.

For this reason, it is always recommended that you work with a skilled and capable divorce attorney, whether you are following a contested or an uncontested divorce process. Contested divorces are not necessarily bad, as each spouse will spend a lot more time considering what they really want and what they are willing to sacrifice.

It is highly likely that your spouse will seek their own legal representation, and this will put you at a massive disadvantage if you have not secured your own. Without a skilled contested divorce lawyer, your spouse and their attorney may take advantage of your lack of legal knowledge.

Miami Family Law Group, PLLC Can Help You Navigate Your Divorce Process

It doesn't matter what circumstances you find yourself in regarding your divorce, you will always benefit from having a legal advocate on your side, fighting for your rights and fair treatment. Couples usually find it hard to separate emotions from their judgment and an attorney will help you keep what is important in mind.

Contact us today at 305-520-7874 to discuss your case.

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Why Choose Miami Family Law Group?

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Legal concerns with family can cause intense stress and have far-reaching effects. This can be especially true when children are involved. You also have a lot of financial interests in a family law case, so you must partner with the right attorney. The team at Miami Family Law Group, PLLC is the right choice for these reasons:

  • We understand family. Miami Family Law Group, PLLC offers our clients a family-friendly environment. We understand how delicate legal issues are with spouses, partners, and children.
  • We speak Spanish. Language barriers shouldn't be a problem when you work with our firm. We speak Spanish and can understand your personal concerns.
  • We have the experience and skills. Family law is not something anyone should take lightly. Our attorneys have been practicing law for more than 20 years. We understand the critical aspects of family law and the essential steps with each case.

Do You Need a Contested Divorce Lawyer?

If you are going through a contested divorce, having an attorney on your side is essential. Contested divorces can be complicated, time-consuming, and messy. They often involve heated emotions and numerous disagreements between both parties.

However, working with an attorney can take the stress of navigating this process off your shoulders and give you access to professional guidance along the way. Your attorney can:

  • Communicate with your spouse and their lawyer on your behalf
  • Walk you through the steps in the divorce process
  • Help you understand the paperwork
  • Help you dictate your wants and needs to the judge
  • Provide legal advice and guidance

How Long Does a Contested Divorce Take?

A contested divorce can take anywhere from three months to two years depending on the complexity of the case. On average, these cases take at least a year.

Numerous factors can affect the speed of the divorce, such as the number of court appearances needed, the number of shared assets, and the willingness of both parties to reach an agreement. Even if you want to complete the divorce quickly, your spouse may have other intentions.

However, working with a qualified contested divorce lawyer can streamline your divorce process. Your attorney can provide guidance to streamline the divorce and avoid additional court hearings.

Contact Miami Family Law Group, PLLC today to schedule your strategy session and discuss priorities for your future and the details of your divorce case.

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Real Clients, Real Testimonials

  • Honest very Fair Reasonable Compassionate will not run your bills please give her a chance she has represented me for 5 Yrs just a good person she won all for me more than that she is very helpful. Just a example It took 5 yrs my Ex was Very Angry Sadly she found a Attorney who promised here everything she wanted just lies after lies he was a very Cruel Human being just drained her she spent over 250k and ended up receiving 225k as Equity Distribution
    My prayers for all is to Settle no point in Litigation However if your Attorney plays with your Emotions and lies to you it will end in very painful state .THATS WHY BE CAREFUL WHICH ATTORNEY YOU CHOOSE VERY IMPORTANT OR like be you will be Bankrupt and Almost Homeless.
    I had good friends and family who helped my Attorney I owed her over 50k which was very Noble of her Emily Philips to Trust me and I did pay her but she didn't have to do very few Attorneys will do that .
    So Consult with Emily Philips before u decide on a Representation..

    - Denis Thali

  • Emily Phillips helped my family navigate and win a difficult child custody case. A wise, tough lawyer who cares about her clients. She was a godsend after 3 very bad lawyers.

    - Megan b

  • Ms. Phillips is an extremely empathetic and professional Lawyer. She handled our Petition of Guardianship, and 2 Last Will and Testaments, in a very swift and detailed manner. Upon my Father's passi g on, she reached out to our family, offering her condolences. She has clients for Life in myself and my family!

    - Nora Adler

  • The most effective, intelligent and caring divorce lawyer in Miami.

    Emily Phillips successfully helped me to resolve a highly bitter divorce case with an excellent outcome! My ex was unreasonable and only out for blood and revenge. Her attorney only cared about taking my money and padding his pocket by filing lawsuit after lawsuit. He didn't care about the effect of litigation on my child. Emily put a stop to the shenanigans. She is a bright, intelligent, caring, reasonable, and most importantly, a very effective lawyer!

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  • Best Divorce Attorney

    Hired Emily thru a Friend Reccomendation in 2011... Very Honest Understanding Down to earth Person,,, Doesnt up sell or makes False Promises says it as it is . Very Logical and upfront ...I went thru 2 Trails and she won it all. The opposing Lawyer was a Bluff Promised my EX everything and ended up with nothing...

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  • Partner

    Emily has been helping us on all our closings. She has always provided us with an exceptional service and we are looking forward working with Emily on our next deal.

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The experienced attorneys and staff at Miami Family Law Group, PLLC are here to serve you Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. We understand that divorce is not a decision anyone takes lightly and want to help you move through the process as painlessly as possible. Call us at 305-520-7874 to discuss your case. If you contact us outside of business hours, we will respond to you when our office opens the following day. We're here for you because family matters.

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