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New Jersey Uncontested Divorce Lawyer

New Jersey Uncontested Divorce Lawyer

If you and your former partner have agreed to end your marriage, you may be able to seek an uncontested divorce. These proceedings are often faster and less expensive than a contested divorce. However, you need to ensure that your rights are protected and that your divorce agreement will hold up in Court.

While you and your ex-spouse might agree on all the terms of your divorce, translating these wishes into an airtight and enforceable legal document requires the insights of a dedicated divorce attorney. Our New Jersey uncontested divorce lawyers are ready to deliver the swift and skilled representation you deserve.

Who Can File for Uncontested Divorce in New Jersey?

One spouse must have resided in New Jersey for at least one year before either spouse may file for divorce. When one of the spouses resides out-of-state, they must file for divorce in the county where the New Jersey resident spouse lives. A spouse who lives in the State can file in the county where they live, but must ensure the spouse residing out-of-state is properly served with the Complaint for Divorce.

The State offers both fault-based and no-fault grounds for divorce. When someone seeks an uncontested divorce, they will usually request a divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. They must state that they and their spouse have had irreconcilable differences for at least six months and that there is no reasonable prospect of reconciliation.

Spouses may also file for no-fault divorce when they have lived separately for at least 18 continuous months with no reasonable prospect of reconciling.

An uncontested divorce lawyer in New Jersey can explain these grounds in greater detail.

Lastly, the spouses must have already signed a written settlement agreement resolving all issues in their divorce before filing for an uncontested divorce. If there is no preexisting written and signed settlement agreement at the time of filing, the Court will consider the divorce contested and expect that the parties wish to litigate their case.

What Are the Benefits of Uncontested Divorce?

In an uncontested divorce, both parties have reached an agreement on all terms of their divorce. In a contested divorce, when parties cannot resolve disputes themselves, a judge makes the final decision on the terms of their divorce after a trial. Having a divorce go to trial means leaving some of the most important decisions, such as child custody matters, in the hands of a stranger. These trials often have unexpected or subjective outcomes. In an uncontested proceeding, both partners get to maintain relative control over every decision that will govern their post-divorce life.

Uncontested divorces also tend to take less time than divorces that require Court proceedings. Spouses can often take several months to reach a finalized divorce agreement. Preparing for trial and Court proceedings can extend a divorce for years. Courts often push for uncontested divorce settlements because they would rather not have the burden of managing a trial.

New Jersey public policy favors and encourages settlement of family law matters, including divorces. However, there are some relationships and marital issues that uncontested divorces may not work for, as these agreements must be reached in good faith and without coercion. It is best to consult a knowledgeable New Jersey uncontested divorce attorney about whether this is the best option.

Uncontested Divorce Requires Agreements on Multiple Issues

An uncontested divorce requires spouses to resolve their differences outside of Court—preferably before filing a Complaint for Divorce to dissolve the marriage. As stated above, the Court will automatically consider a divorce contested if there is no preexisting signed settlement agreement at the time of filing. To proceed on an uncontested basis, both parties must agree on all divorce-related issues, including alimonychild custody, and division of assets. This agreement must be in writing and presented to the Court.

Many couples resolve property division and alimony issues through prenuptial or postnuptial agreements. A valid prenup or postnup can streamline the property division process. When spouses do not have such an agreement, they must divide marital property fairly, considering all the circumstances. Similarly, they must determine whether they ongoing financial support will be paid by either party and, if so, agree on the amount and duration of alimony.

If spouses have children, they will need to develop a detailed parenting plan that describes their custody and visitation arrangements. Both must develop the plan with the children’s best interests put first.

How the Process Unfolds

When spouses communicate well and are on the same page, they can negotiate, write, and sign a settlement agreement before filing for divorce. Many couples work with a mediator to find consensus on challenging issues.

Once spouses have created a settlement agreement, one can file a Complaint for Divorce with the Court. The other spouse can file an Acknowledgement of Service, which allows the other party to avoid having to hire a process server for formal service of the Complaint. The other spouse can also sign a document called a Waiver of Right to Answer and Consent to Enter Default if they do not wish to appear in Court for a divorce hearing.

The signed marital settlement agreement will be filed with the Court to prove that all issues in the divorce have been settled by mutual agreement. The judge may hold an uncontested divorce hearing to put the divorce through, but in some cases, the Court will accept written certifications from the parties to request a Judgment of Divorce without having to appear at a hearing.

Agreements After Filing

Spouses may enter divorce proceedings on a contested basis over one or more issues they have been unable resolve by mutual agreement. Many couples who begin with a contested divorce reach a settlement before a trial and convert their divorce from contested to uncontested.

Sometimes, the spouses can resolve their disagreements through direct negotiation between their attorneys. In other cases, the judge orders the spouses to attend settlement panels and mediation, where they can hopefully reach an agreement with the help of a neutral third party.

When spouses agree to a settlement after filing but before a trial, they must submit the agreement to the Court for review. If the judge is satisfied that all issues have been resolved, they will incorporate the agreement into an enforceable order and issue the judgment of divorce.

How an Uncontested Divorce Attorney Can Help

Although an uncontested divorce may seem straightforward, hidden complexities often arise that require a legal professional. For example, someone may need to ensure they do not lose the property they are entitled to or that their children’s best interests are fully protected in a custody arrangement. Common errors made when a couple attempts an uncontested divorce themselves include not addressing certain crucial issues, failing to include a plan in their agreements for unexpected events in the future, especially with children, and causing unnecessary tax and financial issues when dividing property.

Additionally, fully disclosing all income, assets, and debts is essential to every settlement. A seasoned uncontested divorce attorney can provide advice and guidance to help families in New Jersey make informed decisions throughout the settlement process. They can also help draft or review settlement agreements to ensure all legal requirements are met.

Contact a New Jersey Uncontested Divorce Attorneys For Swift and Professional Representation

At Moskowitz Law Group, our New Jersey uncontested divorce lawyers offer professional counsel to help you seek an efficient, amicable, and timely divorce resolution.

Our team has over five decades of shared experience delivering compassionate and personalized counsel at competitive prices. We strive to resolve cases as quickly as possible without cutting corners. Get started by speaking with a seasoned divorce attorney about your case during a free and confidential consultation.

What Sets Us Apart?

Integrity

We will make sure you have the necessary information to make an educated decision for your future.

Diplomacy

When you choose to work with us, you will receive the one-on-one personal service that you need.

Empathy

We understand that you may be suffering greatly from this process, and we'll provide the highest level of care and attention.

Advocacy

You need representation on your side that will fight to minimize any adverse effect of a verdict in your case.

Legal Knowledge

We limit our practice solely to family law so that we may provide a higher quality product to our clients.

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