In recent gossip, former Miami Dolphin receiver Chad Johnson is refusing to sign divorce papers served by recently wedded “Basketball Wives” star Evelyn Lozado. Aside from the enticing drama surrounding the story (the head butt incident, the subsequent release from the dolphins, the new tattoo of her face on his leg), we would like to stay focused on the divorce aspect and use this incident for a case study and educational opportunity.
Lets examine the facts. According to reports, Evelyn is adamant that she wants nothing to do with Chad anymore. Even before the now famous head butt that caused lacerations to her head and required medical treatment, Evelyn disclosed in an interview that Johnson had allegedly given her occasional pushes and shoves in weeks prior to the incident. Chad, though unable to contact Evelyn due to a court order forbidding him to do so in any way for fear of her safety, remains adamant that he wants to work things out. So what happens next for Evelyn?
First it is important that Evelyn understand the difference between a contested and an uncontested divorce. In cases where both parties agree to a divorce, it is referred to as an Uncontested Divorce. Parties both want it, the court grants it, and wham bam thank you ma’am here is your last name back. In instances where one party refuses (as we have here), it is considered a Contested Divorce.
The next step for Evelyn is to file a petition to the appropriate family court. The petition will explain in detail that the marriage is dissolved and describe the basis for the separation. In Evelyn’s case, she will most likely cite Domestic Violence as it is very serious offense and in most cases establishes clear grounds for a divorce and possibly even further injury settlement. For situations such as these, the petition only requires the signature from one of the parties involved.
After a petition has been filed, the court can proceed with the divorce action. This is where both parties and their respective divorce attorneys will work out the distribution of applicable property, assets, and child custody is necessary. If the couple cannot agree on mutually beneficial terms of separation, a trial will most likely ensue. After which a judgment will be handed down from the courts and the matter can hopefully be put behind them.
Fortunately for Evelyn, it is tough to see an instance where she will not be granted a divorce. Unfortunately, divorce is still never an easy thing to go through. That is why if you are going through a messy divorce as well, you should always hire an experienced family lawyer to help you handle the difficult and sensitive nature of your case.