Monmouth County Uncontested Divorce Lawyer

When you and your spouse have decided to divorce and can ultimately agree on all the relevant issues in your separation, you are candidates for an uncontested divorce. Couples who use the uncontested divorce process can obtain their divorce faster and usually with less expense than couples seeking a contested divorce.

That being said, you still should seek advice and guidance from a legal professional when getting an uncontested divorce. Missing an essential step or providing inadequate information could derail the process and cause unnecessary delays or ending up with a bad deal you did not anticipate. Contact a Monmouth County uncontested divorce lawyer before the uncontested divorce process to learn what to expect.

Parties Must Have Written Agreements

The distinction between a contested and uncontested divorce is that spouses seeking an uncontested divorce have already signed a written agreement on all the important issues that must be resolved before a judge can dissolve the marriage. An uncontested divorce requires a couple to agree on the following issues:

  • How they will divide their marital property
  • Who is responsible for debts, taxes, insurance, and other obligations
  • Whether one spouse will receive alimony and, if so, how much and for how long
  • How the couple will coparent their children, including who has decision-making authority for which issues
  • Where the children will live
  • A schedule for parenting time for the non-custodial parent or shared parenting time schedule if the parties will share residential custody
  • Child support

Well-crafted custody plans that serve the children’s best interests are crucial because N.J.S.A. 9:2-4(d) allows a judge to reject a custody plan if it is contrary to the children’s best interests. The law requires the judge to presume a plan both parents agreed to serve the children’s best interests, but the judge could reject the plan if the plan suggests otherwise. Such rejections, however, are very rare.

Reaching agreements is easier when the couple has no children and little property to divide. A prenuptial agreement can also ease the process, as long as neither spouse contests it. Any couple that communicates well and is committed to coparenting could take advantage of the uncontested divorce process. However, engaging a Monmouth County uncontested divorce attorney is essential to ensure the agreements are legally sound and protect the parties’ rights.

Procedure to Obtain an Uncontested Divorce

Couples seeking an uncontested divorce must use irreconcilable differences or separation for at least 18 months as their grounds for divorce. At least one spouse must have lived in the state for one year before filing a complaint for divorce. Additionally, at least one spouse must have resided in Monmouth County when the grounds for divorce arose.

One spouse submits the complaint seeking a divorce to the Monmouth County Superior Court, Chancery Division – Family Part, in Freehold, along with supporting documents and the spouses’ signed agreement. The other spouse must be served with the complaint, which is usually done by signing a document called an acknowledgment of service. Once the court has received either the acknowledgment of service or an affidavit of service from a process server, the non-petitioning spouse has 35 days to submit an answer to the complaint. In many cases, however, the spouse served with the complaint will sign a document called a waiver of right to answer and consent to enter default. This document allows the spouse who filed the complaint to proceed to obtain the divorce without the other spouse having to do anything further.

Usually, the judge holds a hearing to ask both spouses (or one spouse where the other spouse has waived their right to answer) questions about their reasons for divorce and the details of their agreements. In some cases, the spouses do not need to attend a hearing and a judge will grant the divorce based on affidavits submitted to the Court. A Monmouth County uncontested divorce attorney can appear for them at the hearing or submit the required affidavits.

Work with a Monmouth County Uncontested Divorce Attorney

An uncontested divorce is a wise choice in many cases, but this process still has its challenges. Working with a local legal professional could ease your burdens and can ensure you understand what you must do to take advantage of this form of divorce.

Contact a Monmouth County uncontested divorce lawyer for guidance as soon as possible. The family law attorneys at Moskowitz Law Group are here to support you.

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