What is the Difference Between a Contested and an Uncontested Divorce?

Divorcing can become very difficult and exhausting for couples. It requires a great amount of patience and decision making in order to determine the necessary arrangements for a divorce. The process of a divorce may depend on if spouses settle on agreements in regards to their marital issues. Different types of divorce allow couples to work through the matters at hand in a way that suits their own situation. In New Jersey, there are two main types of divorce: contested divorce and uncontested divorce. Individuals going through a divorce can benefit from an experienced attorney to guide them through these proceedings.

Contested Divorce

A contested divorce is when both spouses cannot come to an agreement on their marital issues. This happens when neither spouse signs an agreement on their terms of separation, leaving these matters unsolved. In the event of this, a judge is given the right to make these decisions in order 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. When no-fault grounds is cited, it means neither spouse is holding the other responsible for the end of their marriage. When this happens, the divorce 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
  • Desertion
  • Non-support
  • Cruel and abusive treatment
  • Impotency
  • Incarceration for over 5 years
  • Habitual intoxication or drug addiction

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 must resolve all 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, 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 Ross & Calandrillo, LLC. today.

Ross and Calandrillo, LLC is a full-service divorce, family, and real estate law firm located in Mountainside, New Jersey. For strong legal representation in all of your divorce or family law matters, contact Ross and Calandrillo, LLC to schedule a free consultation.