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Contested Divorce

Contested Divorce Attorneys in the Buffalo Area Fight for Your Future

Skillful firm takes on divorce litigation when settlement is not an option

Most parties who are facing divorce would prefer to negotiate a settlement and avoid a trial in open court. At the Law Offices of Randy S. Margulis, we help our clients achieve their objectives through traditional negotiation as well as divorce mediation. For many divorces, a cooperative process is productive and leads to a mutually beneficial compromise. However, there are times when you simply cannot accept the terms of a compromise. When a spouse is dishonest about finances or could be a threat to your children’s welfare, you might need the court to issue an appropriate order. When you retain our services, you will work with seasoned trial lawyers capable of presenting a compelling case in court. You can trust us to prepare fully and advocate forcefully for the goals you have set.

What is a contested divorce?

A divorce is contested when the parties cannot reach a complete agreement on all terms, such as those relating to concerning alimony, child custody, child support, and property division. Accordingly, the parties must engage in a process where these issues are resolved before finalizing the dissolution of their marriage. Sometimes, this means the spouses will go before a judge who will make a decision on any matters where consensus cannot be achieved. Mediation, arbitration or further settlement discussion can also be used to arrive at a conclusion. An uncontested divorce occurs when the couple agrees to dissolve the marriage and executes a settlement agreement setting forth the relevant terms.

Advantages to pursuing a contested divorce

Cooperative processes only work when parties act in good faith. If your spouse is dishonest or unreasonable, you’re not going to be able to protect your rights and obtain a fair result through negotiations or mediation. But when you take the case to trial, you have more power to unearth key information and have a neutral judge who will render a decision on any disputed matters. Examples of potential disputes include:

  • Property value discrepancies — Many high-net-worth couples have assets whose value can vary widely over time, such as real estate, fine art, jewelry, luxury automobiles and stock options. Disputes over the proper valuation of such items happen all the time. In a contested divorce, parties hire their own appraisers who present a report on the value to the court, and the judge assigns what he or she believes to be the true value.
  • Hidden assets — Some divorcing parties suspect their spouse is hiding funds, so they won’t be subject to the couple’s asset division. In a contested divorce, you have subpoena power, so you can demand relevant financial records. If the numbers don’t add up, you can retain a forensic accountant to examine the available documents and testify regarding assets that might be stashed somewhere. The court can issue an order compelling your spouse to disclose the hidden assets.
  • Property division disputes — How much of the marital estate does each spouse deserve? When compromise is impossible, presenting your case to an experienced judge may be your best chance at a fair result.
  • Child custody — Arguments between parents over child custody and visitation often become emotional. Judges tend to be more dispassionate, focusing on the best interests of the child. You might also need the court to issue an order that protects your child from an unfit or abusive co-parent.

Of course, any time you decide to litigate an issue, you take on the risk of an adverse decision. Therefore, you have to be confident in the attorney you’ve chosen to represent you and their litigation strategy. We examine every detail of your case, inform you of the range of your options, and formulate a plan of action focused on obtaining the best possible results.

Contact a skilled Buffalo-area attorney for advice on a contested divorce

The Law Offices of Randy S. Margulis in Buffalo represents Western New York clients in contested divorces. Call 716-886-9600 or contact us online to schedule a meeting at our Williamsville or downtown Buffalo office. Video consultations are available.

Randy  S.  Margulis Attorney Photo
Randy S. Margulis
Member

As a Buffalo divorce lawyer for 27 years, I have devoted myself to solving the problems that affect families throughout the Buffalo metropolitan area and Western New York. As a family law attorney, I make it my goal to create a partnership of trust with my clients. People put their trust in me to handle cases that can potentially have a long-lasting impact on not only their lives, but the lives of their family as well.

Alexandra M. Rockwood Attorney Photo
Alexandra M. Rockwood
Associate

Alexandra M. Rockwood is an Associate Attorney with the Law Offices of Randy S. Margulis & Associates and has been with the firm since early 2020. She practices primarily in the areas of matrimonial and family law. Ms. Rockwood graduated magna cum laude from SUNY Geneseo with a degree in History and minors in Political…

Reviews & Ratings
  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Divorce is always an unpleasant event and my case was no exception, yet the guidance, professionalism and ethical strategy that Randy Margulis provided was essential in finding the best solutions for my children, my ex-wife and myself. As the proces...

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    Client

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Divorce is always an unpleasant event and my case was no exception, yet the guidance, professionalism and ethical strategy that Randy Margulis provided was essential in finding the best solutions for my children, my ex-wife and myself. As the proces...

    Read more

    Client

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Randy Margulis is knowledgable of Domestic Law, dedicated, responsive, personable, aggressive and effective. I came to him on a friend's recommendation as well as Randy's reputation, and during the initial consultation I liked his approach and track ...

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    Client

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Found Mr. Margulis to be a very organized and professional individual to work with. He is well-respected by his peers and is spoken of highly, I believe this helped with my divorce and made things go smoothly. I would highly recommend his services ...

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    Client

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Randy is very firm and effective in court while empathetic to his clients. I am a domestic violence victim, and Randy made me feel safe and protected. My financial award was more than I envisioned it to be when I started my divorce. I can't thank ...

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    Client

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