No divorce can ever be called easy, but an uncontested divorce is the gold standard if you face a divorce. An uncontested divorce does not mean that you and your divorcing spouse will magically agree to every term and that you are both happy to sign on the bottom line from the outset. Instead, an uncontested divorce means that you and your divorcing spouse are committed to the negotiation process and to hammering out mutually acceptable divorce terms between yourselves (with the professional legal guidance of your respective New Jersey divorce attorneys). If you are facing a divorce, a dedicated New Jersey divorce attorney can help.
When You File for Divorce
When you file for a divorce in New Jersey, you have the option of filing for a no-fault divorce, which means that it is based on irreconcilable differences – rather than a fault divorce, which is based on one spouse's alleged fault in the matter. The primary fault grounds in New Jersey include:
- Physical and/or mental cruelty
- Ongoing drug and/or alcohol abuse
- Abandonment of at least 12 months
If your divorce complaint is fault-based, obtaining an uncontested divorce is almost certainly out of reach because your divorcing spouse is unlikely to accept the negative consequences associated without putting up a fight.
Negotiating the Terms of Your Divorce
To reach an agreement and move forward with an uncontested divorce in New Jersey, you and your divorcing spouse will need to find a way to resolve the following issues outside of the courtroom:
- Child custody arrangements
- Child support
- The equitable (or fair) division of marital property
- Alimony (or spousal support)
When it comes to negotiating terms and reaching a settlement agreement, divorcing couples have options, including:
- Negotiating between yourselves (with the legal advice of your respective divorce attorneys)
- Allowing your respective attorneys to negotiate between themselves (on behalf of your best interests)
- Pursuing an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) option, such as mediation or collaborative divorce
When it comes to uncontested divorces vs. contested divorces, fostering a solid attorney-client relationship can, ultimately, play a deciding role.
How Long Does an Uncontested Divorce Take in NJ?
In New Jersey – unlike many other states – there is no mandatory waiting period for divorce. This means that, once you begin the divorce process, obtaining your judgment of divorce will take as long as it takes you and your divorcing spouse to resolve the terms of your divorce and take care of the filing requirements. Uncontested divorces – because they do not require the court's intervention and do not hinge on the court's overflowing docket – tend to take considerably less time than contested divorces do.
How Much Does an Uncontested Divorce Usually Cost in NJ?
A contested divorce can become very expensive quickly, but an uncontested divorce in NJ can be a cost-effective option. Because the terms of your divorce will directly affect your parental and financial rights, you must take the matter of negotiating your divorce terms exceptionally seriously. Still, if you and your soon-to-be-ex are both committed to the process, an uncontested divorce can save you time, money, and heartache. Generally, the requirements for keeping your divorce case out of court include:
- Both of you are committed to the uncontested divorce process.
- Both of you approach your divorce from a position of cooperation and are willing to proceed reasonably.
- Both of you are prepared to communicate with one another openly.
Obtaining a divorce based on a mutual commitment to civility can go a long way toward minimizing the emotional fallout of your divorce – while ensuring that your rights are protected.
How Do You File for an Uncontested Divorce in NJ?
You'll file for an uncontested divorce the same way you would for a contested divorce. The deciding factor in an uncontested divorce is that you and your divorcing spouse can resolve all the applicable divorce terms without going to court. Although your divorce may not be contested, this does not necessarily mean it will be a simple divorce. In fact, you can still take the time you need. You can employ the resources required to address exceptionally complicated divorce matters. Still, you will retain decision-making power between yourselves, which many divorcing couples find highly motivating.
Don't Delay Consulting with an Experienced New Jersey Divorce Attorney.
If an uncontested divorce is your goal, the seasoned NJ divorce attorneys at the law firm of Villani & DeLuca, P.C., have the experience, resources, and legal insight to help you resolve your divorce terms outside the courtroom – while skillfully protecting your parental and financial rights throughout the process. We are on your side and here to help, so please don't hesitate to reach out for more information by contacting or calling us at 732-709-7757 and scheduling your free legal consultation today.