A contested divorce is quite unpleasant since it shows that the relation between the spouses is so disrupted, that objectively speaking, there is no way for them to even agree on how they want to separate. Thus, in case when you can’t manage to come to an agreement and to divorce your spouse in an uncontested way, a contested divorce is the only remaining solution.
When it comes to permanently affected marital relations, each spouse has the right to file a divorce lawsuit, by themselves or by hiring an attorney. The attorney needs a special power of attorney, in order to represent the party in the contested divorce proceeding. If you are wondering where to file for a divorce, we recommend you read our blog on FAQs about divorce in Serbia.
In a divorce proceeding, spouses have a way of solving their matters more peacefully. Namely, during the divorce proceeding, the court points out the possibility of mediation. Mediation has two phases – proceeding for an attempt at conciliation, and the proceeding for an attempt at uncontested divorce proceeding (settlement).
The goal of mediation is to avoid contested divorce litigation, which is stressful, draining, both emotionally and financially, and usually lasts longer. The third party who impartially approaches the problem between spouses is called a mediator, and it presents the best way to please both parties and reach an agreement that best suits the parties’ will.
Mediation as such, has an extremely important task, especially when it comes to divorce, where the matter of parental rights has to be regulated when spouses have had children during the marriage. However, if one of the spouses does not agree to mediation, there is no way for a court to force them to do so, meaning that in that case, contested divorce continues.
It is important to point out that in family relations, each proceeding is urgent if it involves a child or a parent who exercises parental rights. The principle of urgency is characteristic of family litigation where, by law, the intent is to solve the legal matters within the family. It is also foreseen that in these matters, the contested proceeding between spouses who had a child during the marriage is finished in no more than two hearings. Of course, the said duration is only an instruction to courts since there are no sanctions even if the proceedings last for years.
The second characteristic of contested divorce (and generally speaking, proceedings regarding family relations) is the investigative principle. What does that mean?
Namely, unlike other litigation proceedings where the court decides solely upon the facts which are the issue between parties, only based on the proof the parties themselves have provided, when it comes to family litigation, the court has a controlling and investigating role, so they can investigate whether the facts the parties have stated are relevant, as well as to determine the facts which are relevant based on the proof which is brought into the proceeding on their own initiative.