What is the Difference Between a Contested and Uncontested Divorce?

Divorces can become a very difficult and exhausting process for couples. It requires patience and decision making to determine the arrangements that are necessary for a divorce. The process of a divorce may depend on if spouses are able to agree to the terms of their marital issues. Different divorce types allow couples to work through these matters in a way that suits their personal situation. In the state of New Jersey, the two main types of divorce are a contested divorce and an uncontested divorce. Spouses going through divorce proceedings can benefit from an experienced attorney to navigate this process for them.

Contested Divorce

When both spouses cannot reach common ground on their marital issues, it is known as a contested divorce. This occurs when neither spouse signs an agreement regarding their terms of separation, leaving these matters unsolved. When this happens, a judge is appointed to make these decisions in order to settle the couple’s disagreements. This may include decisions regarding issues such as child support, custody, the division of assets, and alimony.

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

  • Adultery
  • Abandonment
  • Desertion
  • Incarceration
  • Institutionalization
  • Extreme cruelty

Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce takes place when both spouses believe their marriage cannot be fixed and agree to the terms of their divorce. This is also called an “Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage.” When this happens, a couple is required to resolve all marital issues before the proceedings begin. This pertains 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 choose a method of divorce outside of litigation. This may include alternatives such as mediation, arbitration, or collaborative divorce. These processes are voluntary, although they are usually 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 Paris P. Eliades Law Firm LLC. today.

Paris P. Eliades Law Firm, LLC is honored to serve the people of New Jersey, including Sparta, Sussex County, Morris County, Passaic County, and Bergen County with the quality legal services they deserve. Contact our firm for a consultation today.