What Is Uncontested vs. Contested Divorce in NJ?

You and your spouse will either undergo an uncontested or contested divorce. Regardless of which option you prefer, it all depends on whether or not you and your spouse can agree on the key marital issues at hand. Follow along to find out the differences between the two and how one of the proficient Hudson County family law attorneys at Greenberg & Walden, LLC, can help you decipher which option is in your best interest.

What is an uncontested divorce?

Put simply, you and your spouse will have the option of an uncontested divorce if you can successfully agree on how to resolve all of your divorce terms. Such divorce terms include the following:

  • Alimony.
  • Child custody.
  • Child support.
  • Property distribution.

With an uncontested divorce, litigation is not necessary. Rather, you and your spouse can voluntarily enter arbitration, mediation, or a collaborative divorce. An uncontested divorce is known for being the preferred route because it tends to be less expensive, less time-consuming, and overall less emotionally draining than a contested divorce. However, if you and your spouse even disagree on just one divorce term, then your uncontested divorce will turn into a contested divorce rather quickly.

What is a contested divorce?

That said, you and your spouse will be required to enter a contested divorce if you are unable to agree on your divorce terms. That is, you will have to go to trial and a New Jersey judge will have to make final decisions on your and your spouse’s behalf. They will listen to your wants and needs, but ultimately, they will primarily base their decisions on bank statements and other relevant documents and circumstances.

What grounds should I cite for my uncontested divorce?

If you want to hold your spouse accountable for their actions that led to the dissolution of your marriage, then you will cite fault grounds for your divorce. Examples of fault grounds you can cite include the following:

  • Adultery.
  • Alcohol or drug addiction.
  • Cruel and abusive treatment.
  • Desertion.
  • Impotency.
  • Incarceration.
  • Non-support.

However, this is not always necessary, because New Jersey is a no-fault divorce state. Meaning, you and your spouse can cite no-fault grounds for divorce, if desired. Citing no-fault grounds is best to use if you do not want to place blame on one spouse for the breakdown of your marriage, but rather want to blame irreconcilable differences. This is why it is commonly used for uncontested divorces.

All in all, we understand just have complicated this decision-making can be. Rest assured, one of our talented attorneys at our boutique New Jersey law firm located in West New York can guide you in the right direction. Give us a call today.

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If you need assistance with any family law issue, contact Greenberg & Walden, LLC today.

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