Uncontested Divorce Attorneys Bergen County, NJ
What is an Uncontested Divorce?
The legal term of an “uncontested divorce” refers to a specific type of divorce that is placed on an expedited legal track in New Jersey. There are several ways for a divorce to be considered “uncontested” (which we will discuss below), but it is important to understand that just because your divorce may instead be considered a “contested divorce”, it doesn’t necessarily have to be overly contentious. A contested divorce is simply a legal term for when the divorcing couple does not immediately agree on all of the key divorce issues of child custody, child support, spousal support, and division of assets.
The main advantage to an uncontested divorce is that 35 days after the initial divorce paperwork is filed, a final hearing will be scheduled, at which time the judge will review the divorce paperwork, and in most cases grant the requested divorce. This is a significantly reduced time-frame when compared with a contested divorce, so if and when your divorce meets the requirements for an uncontested divorce, this can be a much quicker way of resolving your divorce.
At The Law Office of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients to resolve their divorce fairly and favorably, whether it be a contested divorce or an uncontested divorce, in towns across Bergen County, including Ridgewood, Paramus, Hackensack, Teaneck, and Fort Lee.
Call our office today to discuss your divorce, its related issues, and how our firm can help you in a free and confidential consultation with our family law team.
When Will My Divorce be Considered “Uncontested”?
As previously mentioned, there are several possible qualifications for a Bergen County uncontested divorce.
- You and your spouse decide to resolve your divorce through an Alternative Dispute Resolution method such as mediation or arbitration. Once all of the terms of your “property settlement agreement” have been decided (including child custody, child support, division of assets, and spousal support), this property settlement agreement will be submitted to the courts as an uncontested divorce.
- You and your spouse can negotiate the terms of your divorce settlement agreement before the divorce is filed.
- You and your spouse immediately agree on all of the terms outlined in the filing party’s proposed property settlement agreement. While this certainly is possible, we recommend that if your spouse is filing for a divorce, before agreeing to the terms outlined in their proposed property agreement, you first consult with our Bergen County divorce attorneys. Once you agree to “not contest” their request for a divorce, whatever terms they have proposed will most likely be final, and it can be extremely difficult to modify any of your divorce agreements after the fact should they prove unfair to you. For this reason, it is extremely important that you consult with an experienced divorce attorney before deciding to not contest a divorce complaint.
- Your spouse, for whatever reason, chooses to ignore your divorce complaint.
Whether you are pursuing the divorce mediation process, an uncontested divorce, or a default divorce judgment, our Bergen County divorce attorneys are prepared to guide and advise you throughout the process.
How to File for an Uncontested Divorce
If you wish to file for a divorce, beyond consulting with an experienced divorce attorney, the first step you must take is to fill out a variety of forms, all of which you can obtain from a clerk in the county courthouse. If you or your spouse resides or works within Bergen County, then you can get these forms from the Bergen County courthouse.
If you wish to begin the divorce process, you can file your initial divorce complaint at this point. However, chances are pretty high that your spouse will not immediately agree with the various terms you propose in your initial property settlement agreement, and as such your divorce will become contested.
On the other hand, if you are interested in an uncontested divorce, you may wish to instead pursue other options before filing your divorce complaint. As mentioned above, this can be through an Alternative Dispute Resolution process such as mediation, collaboration, or arbitration, or even just pre-divorce negotiations with your spouse (ideally with legal guidance and representation).
Remember, for your divorce to be considered uncontested and placed on an expedited legal track for finalization, you and your spouse must agree on all of the terms outlined in whatever property settlement agreement you submit as part of your initial divorce complaint.
Resolving an Uncontested Divorce
If you and your spouse have reached a final agreement regarding all the terms of your property settlement agreement before the divorce was filed for (using any of the methods discussed above), you are now ready to file for an uncontested divorce. The filing party should now file their initial divorce complaint, along with the agreed-upon property settlement agreement.
The defendant (the party who is not filing for divorce) should not respond to the divorce complaint (given of course that they are satisfied with all of the terms outlined in the property settlement agreement). After 35 days without an answer from the defendant, the plaintiff can request a final divorce hearing. Legally, the plaintiff must attend this hearing, and while the defendant does not have to, it is still recommended that they do if possible.
At this final hearing, a family court judge will review all of the papers associated with the divorce, including the proposed property settlement agreement. The judge may have questions for both parties, but as long as they find the property settlement agreement fair, and all of the related paperwork is in order, the judge will sign the final divorce decree, and your divorce will be granted according to the terms outlined in your property settlement agreement.
Contact Our Hackensack Divorce Attorneys Today
At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients to reach fair, accurate, and legal divorce settlement agreements.
By practicing exclusively family and divorce law, our firm can focus on providing each of our clients with the knowledgeable, effective, and attentive legal counsel that they need and deserve when it comes to their divorce, and the related issues of child custody, child support, division of assets, and spousal support.
Whether you are pursuing an uncontested divorce, a contested divorce, divorce mediation, divorce collaboration, or even divorce arbitration, we are prepared to guide and advise you throughout the process, and help you secure the divorce settlements that protect you and your family’s legal, financial, and parental futures.
To speak with our legal team today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your divorce, your property settlement agreement, and/or your options for securing an uncontested divorce, please contact us online, or through our Hackensack, NJ office at (201) 397-1750.