Uncontested Divorce In New Jersey
Ending a marriage is hard, but the divorce process in New Jersey doesn’t always have to be. If you and your spouse can work together and reach an agreement on all issues, you may be able to get an uncontested divorce.
What is an Uncontested Divorce?
An uncontested divorce in New Jersey simply means that the divorcing couple is in agreement regarding the grounds for divorce, and the terms of the divorce. If there is disagreement regarding any of the key areas, including child custody, child support, parenting time, division of marital assets, or spousal support, then your divorce will be considered “contested” and will go to trial if a marital settlement agreement is not reached. It should be noted that the majority of contested divorce cases do reach a settlement prior to the judge issuing a final judgment.
Eligibility for an Uncontested Divorce
For couples who don’t have any disagreements about the key divorce issues, an uncontested divorce can allow the spouses to save money and divorce more quickly.
To qualify for an uncontested divorce you must meet these criteria:
- Have an agreement regarding child custody and support, tax deductions and exemptions, property division, alimony
- Been married for less than five years
- A settlement agreement eliminates the need for a trial
- If you are involved in an uncontested divorce, you may be able to complete the procedure without an attorney, which can save you a great deal of money
- New Jersey allows uncontested divorces to proceed to a final hearing where the judge review the agreement and sign the final divorce decree
In addition, the parties must have resided in New Jersey for at least one year. The grounds for an uncontested divorce is usually either separation or irreconcilable differences. If the divorce is being sought on the grounds of separation, the parties must have been separated for at least 18 months. Irreconcilable differences means that there has been a breakdown of the marriage that has lasted for a period of six months or more, and reconciliation is not reasonably expected. N.J.S.A. § 2A:34-2
What Are The Benefits of Uncontested Divorce?
An uncontested divorce moves through the process more quickly.
An uncontested divorce can save thousands in legal fees.
Easier For Children
While divorce will always be difficult for children, an adversarial divorce process makes it that much more stressful. When parents resolve the issues amicably, children experience less uncertainty and typically recover more quickly.
Future Litigation Less Likely
In a contested divorce, the spouses may not be satisfied with court’s ruling. This increases the likelihood of ongoing contention and future litigation. An uncontested divorce puts the spouses in control of the outcome, and they are therefore less likely to resort to litigation in the future.
Considering Uncontested Divorce?
Are you considering an uncontested divorce and need help drafting a Marital Settlement Agreement?
Do you already have an agreement that has been prepared by your spouse’s attorney? We can review the agreement and ensure that it accurately reflects the terms of your settlement.
Call today (848)220-9383 to schedule a consultation with an experienced family law attorney.
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