What are the Differences Between a Contested and Uncontested Divorce in New Jersey?

Divorces often require a great amount of patience and decision making to come out on the other side. In order for a divorce to be final, couples need to settle and agree to the terms of their marital issues. This can be done through litigation or alternative methods that exist outside of a courtroom. The type of divorce that occurs is dependent on the spouses’ personal situation. In the state of New Jersey, a divorce can be contested or uncontested. When going through divorce proceedings, it can be beneficial to have a Bergen County divorce attorney to navigate this process for them.

Contested Divorce

There are some cases in which spouses are unable to reach common ground regarding their marital issues. When this happens, it is known as a contested divorce. If neither spouse signs an agreement regarding their separation, a judge is appointed to make decisions regarding these matters for the spouses. This can include child support, custody, the division of assets, and alimony.

Couples are required to cite grounds before their divorce begins. If they choose to cite “fault” grounds, it means one spouse is looking to hold the other responsible for the end of their marriage. Fault grounds may be cited due to one of the following situations:

  • Adultery
  • Abandonment
  • Desertion
  • Incarceration
  • Institutionalization
  • Extreme cruelty

Uncontested Divorce

Spouses are also able to cite “no-fault” grounds in a divorce. When this is done, it means neither spouse is holding the other responsible for the end of the marriage. This happens when they both agree their marriage cannot be fixed. If these spouses can agree to the terms of their divorce settlements, it is known as an uncontested divorce. This is also called an  “Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage.”

In these situations, couples must resolve all marital issues before they can begin the proceedings. This can be done through alternative methods such as mediation, arbitration, or collaborative divorce. During this time, couples can discuss matters of alimony, child custody and support, parenting time, division of assets, and any payment of debts.

Contact our Firm

If you or someone you know is going through a divorce and wishes to seek legal counsel, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark LLC., today.