In New Jersey, you can file for an uncontested divorce without a divorce attorney, but that doesn’t mean that you should. Read on to learn more about the benefits of working with an attorney during an uncontested divorce.
What is an uncontested divorce?
An uncontested divorce typically occurs when both spouses believe their marriage cannot be fixed and agree to the settlements of their divorce. This is also known as an “Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage.” When this happens, a couple resolves all marital issues. This pertains to matters such as alimony, child custody and support, parenting time, division of assets, and any payment of debts.
When a divorce is uncontested, the spouses can choose if they wish to divorce through mediation, arbitration, or collaborative divorce instead of litigation. These processes are voluntary, although it is typically a more efficient process and beneficial for all family involved.
Why do I need to work with an attorney during an uncontested divorce?
One of the most important reasons to use an attorney during your divorce is because it can be a long and complex process:
In the event that you and your spouse have come to a final agreement about all the terms of your property settlement agreement before the divorce was filed, you are will be able to file for an uncontested divorce. At this stage, the filing party should file their initial divorce complaint, along with the agreed-upon property settlement agreement.
The defendant, also known as the party who is not filing for divorce, should not respond to the divorce complaint. After 35 days without an answer from the defendant, the plaintiff can request a final divorce hearing. It is important to understand that the plaintiff must attend this hearing, and while the defendant does not have to, it is still recommended that they do if they are able.
At this final hearing, a family court judge will review all of the papers associated with the divorce, including the proposed property settlement agreement. The judge will sign the final divorce decree, and your divorce will be given according to the terms outlined in your property settlement agreement.
Can an uncontested divorce become contested?
Another reason to work with an attorney is that an uncontested divorce can very quickly become contested. A divorce is a major life-changing event and it is important to have an experienced and dedicated attorney on your side.
Contact our firm today to discuss your case.
Contact our experienced New Jersey firm
If you require strong legal representation for matters related to divorce or family law, Haber Silver Russoniello & Dunn is here to help. We proudly represent clients in Morris County and throughout the state of New Jersey. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.