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What is the Difference Between Contested and Uncontested Divorce?



Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce in New Jersey

When preparing for a divorce, there are a lot of difficult questions you will need to answer.

mfr One of these questions is whether to pursue a contested or uncontested divorce. Through our decades of experience, it has become clear that many people are – quite understandably – unclear on the differences between these two methods of divorce. Here are some of the key

What is the difference between a contested and an uncontested divorce?

The difference between a contested and an uncontested divorce is that, in an uncontested divorce, the spouses agree on the terms that will apply to the termination of their marriage. They don’t need a judge to make decisions for them, and as a result, they do not need to litigate their divorce in court. A contested divorce is just the opposite: the spouses are unable to come to terms on their own, and as a result, they have no choice but to present their respective cases at trial.

Yes, absolutely. In fact, this is quite common. While two divorcing spouses may initially be at odds, once they begin the divorce process, learn more about one another’s interests, and begin to feel the financial burdens of litigation, it is not unusual for them to shift their focus to finding common ground.

Isn’t it up to my spouse whether he or she will agree to an uncontested divorce?

divorce agreementTechnically, yes. It takes two to reach an agreement, and if your spouse is unwilling to negotiate in good faith you may have no choice but to pursue a contested divorce. However, when you and your spouse meet with your respective attorneys for the first time, you should both receive information on the benefits of pursuing an uncontested divorce. In many situations, the divorce process begins with the spouses and their attorneys working toward setting the stage for an uncontested divorce.

Is an uncontested divorce the same as a no-fault divorce?

No. In the divorce context, fault is a separate concept. While filing for a fault-based divorce in New Jersey is still an option (many states have done away with the fault-based divorce concept), in most cases spouses file for a no-fault divorce. But, no-fault does not mean uncontested. Even if you file for divorce on no-fault grounds, if necessary you can still pursue a contested divorce and fight to protect your interests in court.

What are the issues we need to agree upon in order to finalize an uncontested divorce?

There are four primary issues that need to be resolved in a typical divorce, contested or uncontested. These are:

Depending on your family and financial circumstances, these issues could be relatively straightforward, or they could be highly complex. In order to make sure that you fully address each issue (including establishing an enforceable parenting plan and dividing your retirement accounts), it is important that you discuss your uncontested divorce with an experienced attorney. You do not want unresolved issues lingering after your divorce.

Discuss Your Divorce Options with an Experienced Family Law Attorney

If you would like more information about contested and uncontested divorces and deciding which option is best for you, contact an experienced divorce lawyer Men’s & Fathers’ Rights Divorce Lawyers by Schultz & Associates, LLC to arrange a case evaluation. You can send us a message online, or call 201-880-9770 to schedule an appointment today.

Carrie S. Schultz, Esq.

Thank you for visiting our site. We realize that if you are reading this, you or someone you know is having marital or family difficulties. We truly understand how unsettling that can be for all involved. I personally want to invite you to explore the website which contains a lot of informational and educational items which I hope is of benefit to you. I also welcome you to contact us to schedule a case evaluation to discuss your matter in greater detail. Our firm philosophy is to always remain committed to providing our clients with the best service, care, guidance, communication, and legal advice possible for your particular situation. We take seriously you entrusting us with your legal matter. Happy researching!