Going through a divorce is a very complicated process that requires a lot of time and patience. There are many things to consider before two spouses dissolve their marriage. In order to move forward, numerous decisions and agreements must be made. In the state of New Jersey, there are several ways a couple may separate their lives. Each method of divorce may be suited for different couples depending on their personal situation.


One divorce option for spouses to consider is called a contested divorce. This type of divorce is when neither spouse signed an agreement, leaving certain issues unsolved. When this occurs, decisions relating to those matters may be left in the hands of a judge. This may include matters of child support, child custody, certain properties, and alimony.

In a contested divorce, a spouse may cite “fault” or “no-fault” grounds in the divorce. “Fault” grounds cover any situations relating to adultery, habits of intoxication, abuse, desertion, or prison sentences of 5+ years. When a spouse cites no-fault, this holds neither party responsible for the dissolution of marriage and the divorce process may begin.


Another considerable option for a divorcing couple may be an uncontested divorce. This type of divorce is for spouses who hold neither party at fault. They agree to the conditions of their divorce and both believe the marriage cannot be mended. This type of divorce is known as “Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage.” There are two types of irretrievable breakdowns. A “1A” divorce is when the couple agrees on all issues relating to the divorce. A “1B” divorce is when those issues are left unresolved.


Couples going through a divorce often seek alternatives outside of a trial. The option of mediation gives couples the chance to negotiate the matters at hand with the help of an unbiased third party. This individual listens to both sides and opinions of the couple and helps them come to an agreement. Some conversations that may be covered during mediation may include assets, child care/support, and alimony. When both spouses reach an agreement, the mediator presents a signed document to the court.


Like mediation, a collaborative divorce exists outside of a trial and involves the help of other parties. In a collaborative divorce, both spouses will partake in four-way meetings. These meetings are guided by attorneys who help the separating couple come to an agreement on certain terms.


Another option for divorce is arbitration. This process also involves a third party who acts as a judge. Different from mediation, this third party makes the final decisions regarding divorce matters. These matters may include child custody/support, spousal support, and distribution of assets.

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If you or someone you know is considering a divorce and wish to seek legal counsel to guide them, contact the Law Offices of Paone Zaleski & Murphy today.

If you require strong legal representation for matters of divorce and family law in New Jersey, contact The Law Offices of Paone, Zaleski & Murphy to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today.