An "uncontested divorce," as opposed to a "contested divorce," is where (a) you and your spouse agree on all divorce-related issues (i.e., child custody and support, division of marital property and spousal support); and (b) your spouse cooperates with the execution of the divorce documents or is served with the "Summons and Complaint" and fails to appear in the proceedings or otherwise challenge the divorce. If your spouse will cooperate, an uncontested divorce is the quickest, friendliest, and most affordable way to dissolve your marriage without any required court appearances.
An Uncontested Divorce is always the best option when you and your spouse are able to work through your differences and reach an agreement regarding key issues such as division of assets, child custody, and support. Aside from avoiding a very costly legal battle, by pursuing an amicable uncontested divorce you will have saved yourself a great deal of stress and, if you have children, you and your spouse will have paved the way for a healthy working relationship.
If you and your spouse are in agreement regarding the terms of your divorce, including child custody and support (if applicable), division of marital property or spousal support or if your spouse will not seek to contest the divorce once served, then your divorce will remain uncontested.
In order to begin the process of a divorce in NJ, you or your spouse must have been a resident of the state for more than one (1) year before starting the process.
Irreconcilable Differences (No Fault) is the most commonly used grounds for divorce due to the fact that the parties need not specify in open court as to their private marital problems. Further, they only need to certify that they have been unable to get along, and will probably not reconcile, for a period of at least six (6) months.
If you are not a New Jersey resident but your spouse resides in New Jersey and meets the "Residency Requirements," you may file an action for divorce in New Jersey State.
Yes. New Jersey recognises same sex marriage.
No. You do not need to provide us with a copy of your marriage certificate, but we will need some information that is contained in the marriage certificate such as:
In the event that your spouse refuses to cooperate with the divorce process or is unwilling to sign the proposed settlement agreement or divorce affidavits, we will need to have him or her served by a process server. This, in effect, will give the defendant (your spouse) notice of the proceeding and action for divorce. Once properly served, if the defendant (or their attorney) does not respond by filing a "Notice of Appearance" or an "Answer" with the Court, we may request that the Court enter a default Judgment of Divorce against the defendant.
Our flat-fee legal services are limited to "uncontested" divorce. In the event that your spouse contests the divorce by filing a Notice of Appearance or Answer with the Court, your case will be transferred to our litigation branch where you will have the option of continuing with our "of-counsel" legal representation (a new retainer will be required at that time) or you may always opt to proceed as a pro se litigant (self-represented). In any event, our staff and attorneys will be available to discuss these options and assist you with the transition.
If your spouse is simply not willing to cooperate or you are in disagreement regarding the substantive issues of the marriage as they concern your children or property/assets, you may need to seek the representation of a litigation attorney. These issues must be agreed upon in a written stipulation or decided by a Judge before a divorce will be granted. Please contact us directly should you require assistance in locating a litigation divorce attorney in your area.
Yes. However, before we can proceed with a divorce, we will need to have your spouse served. In order to accomplish process of service, which in essence means providing your spouse with written notice of your intention to seek a divorce in the State of New Jersey, we must engage in a process of due diligence. An example is hiring an investigator to find the most recent address for your spouse. Another alternative, more commonly used in the State of New Jersey, is to file what is known as a motion (i.e. a request for relief from the court) asking for the spouse to be served via publication. If the Judge grants the motion, the entire Complaint for Divorce will be published and that will serve as proper service of process.
The State of New Jersey treats Divorce and Annulment very differently. An annulment, which is not granted very often due to the difficulty of meeting the requirements for same, means that the marriage between spouses is cancelled. As such, there is no need to decide issues of alimony, child support, or division of assets. The end result is that the marriage never took place. In the alternative, in a divorce, the parties have the ability to settle their issues and distribute their assets.