The Differences Between Contested and Uncontested Divorces

Popular culture is rife with examples of truly acrimonious divorces. But that isn’t always the case. If you’re in the process of a divorce, please read on, then contact our experienced contested divorce attorneys in Bergen County, NJ to learn more about the differences between contested and uncontested divorces.

What are the differences between contested and uncontested divorces?

A contested divorce means that the spouses oppose or challenge each other’s views on any/all of the following issues:

  • Child custody and parenting time
  • Child support, health and dental insurance and medical expenses
  • Tax deductions and exemptions
  • The necessity for, amount or duration of alimony
  • The equitable division of the marital assets and debts
  • And any other dispute in your marriage

Any disagreement on these or any other matters will force the court to consider yours a contested divorce.

How long does an uncontested divorce take in New Jersey?

Naturally, an uncontested divorce is one where both spouses agree on all the key terms of the divorce. If both parties are reasonably cooperative and reply quickly when served, you can finalize your divorce in as little as six to eight weeks. The process is relatively smooth because neither of you disputes the reasons for the breakdown of the marriage and the ancillary matters. The grounds, i.e. legal cause, for the divorce are usually classified as “irreconcilable differences” as opposed to accusations of adultery, extreme cruelty, desertion, voluntarily induced addiction or habitual drunkenness, institutionalization for mental illness, deviant sexual conduct or imprisonment. Basically, it’s a no-fault divorce.

Is an uncontested divorce better?

Not necessarily, but generally, you don’t have much, if anything, to gain by filing for divorce on fault-based grounds. And the use of those grounds would likely antagonize the other spouse and prolong the divorce process. If you and your spouse have lived separately for at least 18 consecutive months with no prospect of reconciliation, then you might consider an uncontested divorce. The decision hinges on your specific situation and the level of cooperation between you and your spouse. Each route has its own benefits and drawbacks. Our seasoned Bergen County Divorce Attorneys can serve as critical assets as you make these important decisions. We will also ensure that you’re thoroughly educated about all of your options.

Contact our experienced Bergen County firm

At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients to understand and protect their legal rights before, during, and after the divorce process in towns across New Jersey and Bergen County, including Hackensack, Ridgewood, Paramus, Teaneck, and Fort Lee. To speak with our team of divorce lawyers today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your concerns about your divorce, please contact us online, or through our Hackensack, NJ office at (201) 397-1750.

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