Helping You Navigate Through Life’s Transitions

Contested Divorce, Litigation And Alternatives

A contested divorce is one in which you and your spouse are unable to reach an agreement on all material issues involved in your divorce. It does not mean that one spouse can prevent the other spouse from obtaining a divorce, as there are no legal grounds to prevent the divorce from occurring once one spouse has asked the court to terminate the marriage.

In the event you are unable to reach a full agreement, there are several different methods to use to resolve the issues that remain in dispute.


One method is for both parties to attend mediation. Mediation offers an alternative to the traditional adversarial divorce. It provides parties with a respectful framework that maximizes the possibility that the divorcing couple can reach a full agreement. With mediation, the parties work toward a full settlement on all issues. Parties who attend mediation are usually represented by an attorney or at least have the opportunity to consult with one.

Collaborative Law

Another method to assist parties in resolving a dispute is to use the collaborative family law approach. In this case, both parties retain an attorney who is trained in collaborative law. This unique approach is relatively new to the Portland area, but has been used to effectively and respectfully to resolve cases throughout the world. For more information about the collaborative process, please view our page on collaborative law.


If neither mediation nor collaborative law is effective in resolving the dispute, then the parties must present their dispute to a judge. This approach is often referred to as litigation and it is generally the most expensive method of resolving issues in a divorce. An attorney trained in litigation prepares a case for trial. The judge will decide many issues, including how the marital estate is divided; how much, if any spousal support will be awarded; and, if there are children involved, who will be awarded legal and physical custody of the children. This process requires a knowledgeable advocate who is familiar with the legal system and can guide you through the process. Litigation can be expensive; however, if you need to go to court, then you want an experienced litigator on your side.

We Have The Experience You Need

At Aaby Family Law, PC, we have experience resolving contested divorces using mediation, collaborative law and in preparing a case to be litigated in a courtroom. When you retain our Washington County firm to handle your divorce, we will handle every aspect of your case from its inception until you resolve all issues by way of a negotiated agreement or trial. We can assist you in obtaining a fair and reasonable result in all issues in your case, including:

  • Division of real and personal property
  • Valuation of the assets, such as the marital home, retirement accounts, any family business
  • Child custody and parenting time
  • Spousal support
  • Child support

Each member of our firm works hard to understand the issues that matter most to our clients. We also understand that since no two families are alike, our approach to each case must be different. After listening carefully to our client’s objectives, we will set in action a comprehensive plan designed to fulfill their objectives.

Talk With Attorney Barbara Aaby Today

If you need to speak with a lawyer, we are pleased to answer your questions about divorce, child support, child custody, spousal support or another family law matter. Call our law office in Beaverton, Oregon, at 503-388-4779 or contact us online.

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