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What is the difference between a contested and uncontested divorce in New Jersey?

Paper on a desk with rings and a pen and two sets of folded handsIf you are contemplating divorce, it is necessary that you understand the difference between a contested and an uncontested divorce in New Jersey. In an uncontested divorce, the parties agree on the terms that relate to the dissolution of their marriage. If there are children, those terms include where the children will live, how much support will be paid for the children, as well as which parents will be responsible for making major decisions for the children.  In addition,  these terms can also include alimony, equitable, distribution, distribution of assets and debts and any other issue that needs to be resolved in order for the marriage to be dissolved. 

In an uncontested divorce, the parties reach this agreement on their own, or with the help of their attorneys, and they do not need the court to make the decisions for them. 

In a contested divorce proceeding, the parties are unable to reach an agreement, despite their efforts and perhaps those of their attorneys, meaning they are not able to reach a settlement, and the court will need to make a decision regarding the issues that need to be resolved in order for the marriage to be dissolved.

In the state of New Jersey, a very high percentage of cases are resolved by way of settlement. It may be that initially the matter started out as a contested proceeding. Ultimately, at the time that the parties reach a settlement agreement they can then move forward with an uncontested divorce proceeding. Most often people are reaching a resolution of their issues, so while their divorce may have started out as a contested matter, they receive their judgment of divorce in an uncontested hearing, which takes place once all of the issues are finalized. At any time parties can notify the court that the matter is uncontested and move forward with an uncontested hearing.

What is the difference between contested versus uncontested child custody?

Similar to the difference between contested and uncontested divorce is contested and uncontested child custody. In an uncontested child custody matter, the parties have reached an agreement concerning parenting time, the living arrangements for the children, which parent will be responsible for making decisions regarding the children and financial matters concerning the children, such as payment of child support as well as extracurricular activities. In contested child custody matters, the parties have to move forward and ask a judge to make a decision regarding these issues pertaining to the children because they are not able to do so on their own.

Is it worth contesting the divorce?

Consulting with a lawyer is a necessary step in determining whether or not it is worth contesting a divorce. In order to move forward with your divorce proceeding, you need to know the difference between a contested and uncontested divorce. Contact DeTorres and DeGeorge today. All of your questions concerning your divorce issues will be addressed. Our family law practitioners can advise you on the issues that you will need to consider at the time of your divorce so that you can understand the differences between contested and uncontested divorce in New Jersey and determine whether or not it is worth it for you to contest your divorce. Schedule your consultation today.

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