Divorce is painful for everyone involved, though some splits are easier than others. The spouses may agree on the terms of the settlement with the help of a mediator – or by themselves. But many couples have a difficult time dividing property and determining support. This can lead to a contested divorce, where you and your spouse will appear in court to settle your dispute.

Contested divorce may sound stressful. But it could be the only way of ensuring that you receive a fair settlement. If you’re facing or enduring a contested divorce, keeping these tips in mind can help ease the process.

Know what’s fair

Mississippi is an equitable distribution state. This means the court will divide your assets based on various factors. These include:

  • The length of your marriage.
  • The financial disparities between you and your spouse.
  • Negative spousal behaviors, including engaging in drug use, affairs or domestic violence.
  • The age and health of each spouse.
  • The ability of each spouse to achieve financial independence.

One reason your divorce may end up contested is because your spouse disagrees with its terms. But by understanding what forms a fair settlement, your odds of receiving one may improve.

Know what’s yours

Your spouse may attempt to argue down your settlement. Or they could hide assets in hope of appearing unable to fulfill their financial obligation to you. Hiding assets in divorce is illegal. Pursuing a fair settlement from a combative spouse may increase costs in the short term. But know that your spouse will experience the same consequence by drawing out the battle. And in the long run, you could come out ahead if you receive what you deserve.

A contested divorce may feel overwhelming. Yet with patience and diligence, you can emerge from yours relatively unscathed. Working with a family law professional can help you take the steps toward surviving a contentious divorce.