What is the Difference Between a Contested and Uncontested Divorce?

Divorce proceedings can often be complicated and exhausting for a couple as well as their families. The process requires patience and a lot of decision making to determine the arrangements of a divorce. The proceedings may vary depending on whether or not spouses can agree on their marital issues. Different types of divorce allow couples to work through these matters in a way that suits their own situation. In New Jersey, the two main types of divorce are a contested divorce and an uncontested divorce. If you are going through a divorce, an experienced attorney can guide you through the proceedings.

Contested Divorce

A contested divorce occurs when both spouses cannot agree on their marital issues. This happens when neither spouse signs an agreement on their terms of separation, leaving these matters unresolved. When this happens, a judge will be appointed to make these decisions to resolve the couple’s disagreements. This may include decisions regarding issues such as child support, custody, the division of assets, and alimony.

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

  • Adultery
  • Abandonment
  • Desertion
  • Extreme cruel and abusive treatment
  • Incarceration
  • Institutionalization

Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce occurs when both spouses believe their marriage is unfixable and agree to the terms of their separation. This is also known as an “Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage.” When this happens, a couple is required to resolve all of their marital issues. 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, spouses can choose an alternative method of divorce instead of litigation. This may include 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 The Radol Law Firm today.

Before taking any sort of legal action, it is important to discuss your legal matter with an experienced attorney. Contact The Radol Law Firm to discuss any divorce and family law matters you may be faced with.