Uncontested Divorce vs. Contested Divorce in New Jersey
Divorce can be a challenging and painful event, an uprooting of the life that two spouses have built together. That said, a divorce between spouses who can agree on how to resolve the important issues involved in a split will look very different from a divorce between spouses who are unable to agree without extensive help from a judge. Contested and uncontested divorce have different implications for divorcing spouses in the time and expense required for each. Learn more about the differences between contested and uncontested divorce below, and contact the New Jersey divorce lawyers at Herbert & Weiss with any questions you may have.
Contested divorce in New Jersey
Sometimes, divorces serve as an acrimonious culmination of the fighting that spouses have been doing for years. In a contested divorce, spouses are unable to agree on most or any of the issues that must be settled in a divorce, such as whether one spouse will keep the marital home or whether it will be sold, how custody will be shared between parents, how personal items will be allocated, and whether alimony will be paid. Contested divorces are often held before a judge, though they can also be decided by a mediator or arbitrator. Most contested divorces settle before spouses go to trial. Regardless, contested divorces do last longer than uncontested divorces. They also involve greater costs in the form of court filing costs and attorneys’ fees, as well as potential costs of hiring expert witnesses or forensic accountants to testify in court.
Uncontested divorces are often faster and less costly
Not all divorces are characterized by endless battles over how property will be divided and custody shared. When a divorce is uncontested, divorcing spouses are able to reach an agreement between themselves on how they wish to divide their assets and debts and how they will share parenting responsibilities. Uncontested divorce may be an option for spouses on relatively good terms who have simple financial circumstances. Uncontested divorces still go before a judge, albeit briefly, in order to be finalized, and spouses must create a legally-binding marital settlement agreement that lays out their agreed-upon division of assets and custody. An attorney can assist during an uncontested divorce by ensuring that spouses have covered all important issues and by assisting in the final filing process to make the divorce official in the eyes of the state.
Legal help for any New Jersey divorce
Whether divorce is contested or uncontested, a skilled New Jersey family law attorney can help. The seasoned Englewood family law attorneys at Herbert & Weiss have eased countless spouses through the process of a divorce and are skilled at adapting to the needs of each individual client. Whether you need a New Jersey divorce lawyer who will advocate for you aggressively before a judge, or you need a gentle helping hand in putting the agreement you reached with a spouse into writing, we can help.
At Herbert & Weiss, we understand that each divorce requires a unique approach, and we’ve developed the tool kit to match. Contact our Englewood offices today for a consultation on your New Jersey divorce to find out how we can support you.