Must I Go to Court for a Divorce in New Jersey?

court divorce new jersey

In the Garden State, divorcing couples have two separate ways to obtain an “absolute divorce.” Specifically, they may obtain a contested divorce or an uncontested divorce. If you and your spouse disagree on some or all of the issues involved in ending your marriage, your divorce will become contested. Unless you manage to settle those disputes at some point during the legal process, you will have to go to trial and have a judge resolve the issues for you. On the other hand, if you and your spouse have worked out an agreement on all of the issues, you need not go to trial. If you would like more information on whether you and your spouse can keep your divorce out of court in New Jersey, please keep reading, then contact one of our experienced Monmouth County property distribution attorneys immediately.

How do I keep my divorce out of court in New Jersey?

If you want to file for an uncontested divorce in New Jersey, you will need to meet three basic requirements: A comprehensive agreement on the issues, an agreement on the legal grounds for the divorce and proof that one of you meets New Jersey’s residency requirements. You and your spouse must agree on all of the issues in your case in order to qualify for an uncontested divorce. This includes agreement on:

  • The equitable distribution of the marital property and debts
  • Spousal maintenance
  • Child custody and visitation, including child support, health insurance and medical expenses for the couple’s minor children

If you and your spouse experience any difficulty with reaching an agreement, mediation might help you resolve it. Most mediators will prepare a document reflecting any agreements you have come to.

Do you have to agree on the grounds for a divorce in New Jersey?

In order to get a divorce in the Garden State, the spouses will need to have grounds, i.e. legally accepted reasons. Fortunately, New Jersey couples may opt for fault or no-fault grounds. By agreeing with your spouse that your marriage has been broken for six months due to irreconcilable differences and you have no possibility of reuniting, you may easily obtain an uncontested divorce.

What do you have to do to get an uncontested divorce in New Jersey?

You must follow these steps to obtain an uncontested divorce in New Jersey:

  1. Prepare the divorce forms
  2. File the divorce papers
  3. Serve your spouse with the divorce papers
  4. Wait for a response to the divorce complaint
  5. Check with the court clerk’s office for the court’s practices in your county.

Speak with one of our skilled Monmouth County divorce attorneys if you encounter, or expect to encounter any difficulties.


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