Divorcing couples that find they can agree on all the key elements of a divorce can expedite their proceeding by choosing what is known as uncontested divorce. This means that you and your spouse agree on:
- Division of marital assets and debts
- Child custody and visitation
- Child support
- Spousal support (alimony)
- Tax exemptions and deductions
In addition, at least one of you has to have been a New Jersey resident for at least one year in order to meet the residency requirement for filing for divorce in New Jersey, unless you are filing for divorce on the grounds of adultery.
You must also agree on the grounds for divorce, which can be fault or no-fault. The grounds for a no-fault divorce including living separately for at least 18 months or irreconcilable differences that have lasted at least six months. The grounds for fault divorce in New Jersey include adultery, desertion, extreme mental or physical cruelty, alcohol or drug addiction, imprisonment, institutionalization for mental illness, or deviant sexual behavior.
New Jersey allows for uncontested divorces to be expedited under the following conditions:
- There is no dispute between the spouses regarding income, value of assets, child custody or parenting time
- Both spouses sign a Property Settlement Agreement (PSA), also known as a Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA)
- Both spouses agree the divorce is uncontested
If we qualify for an uncontested divorce, do we really need an attorney?
An uncontested divorce is still a legal process and you not only need an attorney, you will want one to guide you through the New Jersey family court system. Divorce is a paperwork-intensive process, and if that paperwork is incorrect or incomplete, your case is in jeopardy. You definitely need the assistance of a divorce attorney to prepare all the necessary documents to file with the court. Your attorney will also draw up a Judgment of Divorce and will represent you at a final hearing before a judge, who reviews and signs the final decree.
An attorney can also ensure you understand everything you are agreeing to and all the implications for your financial future of those decisions. Even in an uncontested divorce, it helps to have an experienced divorce lawyer by your side to make sure all your rights are fully protected. Protecting your interests and achieving results that support your needs is what you can expect from Cistaro Law. Contact us today for your free consultation.