Should I Enter an Uncontested or a Contested Divorce?

What most people do not realize when entering a divorce is that there are different options to choose from. The process you and your spouse will undergo will rely heavily on whether you can agree on key marital issues. Read on to discover the pros and cons of both an uncontested divorce and a contested divorce and how one of the seasoned New Jersey divorce attorneys of Haber Silver Simpson & Russoniello can help you determine which is best for your situation.

What is an uncontested divorce?

An uncontested divorce will occur if you and your spouse agree to the settlement of your divorce. Such marital issues that need to be settled include child support, child custody, division of assets, and spousal support.

If your divorce is uncontested, then you and your spouse need not undergo litigation, but rather can voluntarily undergo arbitration, mediation, or collaborative divorce. These alternative divorce methods are known to be more beneficial in terms of time and money spent.

What is a contested divorce?

On the other hand, a contested divorce will occur if you and your spouse cannot agree on your marital issues (i.e., child support, child custody, division of assets, and spousal support). With these unresolved issues, a New Jersey judge will need to intervene to finalize your divorce. They will take your wants and needs into consideration, along with important documents and bank statements, but ultimately they will have the final say.

Do I cite fault grounds or no-fault grounds for my uncontested divorce?

In the state of New Jersey, you and your spouse can cite fault grounds or no-fault grounds for your divorce. If you cite fault grounds, this means that you are holding your spouse accountable for their actions that ultimately led to the end of your marriage. Examples of commonly cited fault grounds include the following:

  • Adultery.
  • Alcohol or drug addiction.
  • Cruel and abusive treatment.
  • Desertion.
  • Impotency.
  • Incarceration for at least 5 years.
  • Non-support.

However, if you do not wish to hold your spouse accountable, but rather wish to end the marriage due to irreconcilable differences, then you can cite no-fault grounds. If you choose this option, you and your spouse must be separated for at least 18 months.

Importantly, we recommend that you cite no-fault grounds if you wish to pursue an uncontested divorce. Because if you cite fault grounds, you allow your spouse to refute your claim. An issue this early on can quickly turn your uncontested divorce into a contested divorce.

For more advice, consult with one of our competent attorneys at our Morris County divorce & separation law firm today.

Contact our experienced New Jersey firm

If you require strong legal representation for divorce or family law matters, contact Haber Silver Simpson & Russoniello today to schedule a consultation.