What is the Difference Between a Contested and Uncontested Divorce?

The process of a divorce can be complicated and tiring for a couple. It requires a great deal of patience and responsibility to determine the necessary arrangements for a divorce to be final. Divorce proceedings may vary depending on if spouses can come to an agreement on their marital issues. Different types of divorce allow couples to work through complicated proceedings in a way that suits their own personal situation. In the state of New Jersey, there are two main types of divorce: contested divorce and uncontested divorce. Spouses going through a divorce can benefit from an experienced attorney to guide them through these proceedings.

Contested Divorce

When both spouses cannot come to an agreement on their marital issues, it is known as a contested divorce. In this situation, neither spouse signs an agreement on their terms of separation. This leaves these matters unsolved. When this happens, a judge is given the right to make these decisions to resolve the couple’s disagreements. This may include decisions regarding child support, custody, the division of assets, and alimony.

In a contested divorce, a spouse can cite either “fault” or “no-fault” grounds. When no-fault grounds is cited, neither spouse holds the other responsible for the end of their marriage. When this happens, they may begin the divorce proceedings. When a spouse cites fault grounds, it means they are holding the other spouse responsible for their divorce. This may be because of one of the following situations:

  • Adultery
  • Desertion
  • Non-support
  • Cruel and abusive treatment
  • Impotency
  • Incarceration for over 5 years
  • Habitual intoxication or drug addiction

Uncontested Divorce

When both spouses believe their marriage cannot be fixed and agree to the terms of their divorce, it is an uncontested divorce. This is also known as an “Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage.” When this happens, a couple is required to resolve all marital issues. This refers 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 participate in a method of divorce outside of litigation. This may include mediation, arbitration, or collaborative divorce. These are voluntary methods, although they can be more beneficial for all parties involved in the divorce.

Contact our Firm

If you or someone you know is going through a divorce and wishes to seek legal counsel, 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