Blog

What is an uncontested divorce hearing in New Jersey?

Statistically speaking, 97%-98% of all divorce cases settle before trial. Of the remaining 2%-3%, half of those cases settle during trial. If you are going through a divorce, it is safe to say that your case will settle. I tell my clients that generally it is not a matter of “if,” but a matter of “when,” their case will settle.

Here is the breakdown of a divorce in New Jersey:

1. Settlement

There are barriers to settlement. In some cases, the parties are just not emotionally ready to settle. The case may linger while the parties take time to accept the end of their marriage and gain clarity and strength needed to participate in their divorce.

In other situations, a case may not be ready substantively to settle. Experts can be involved in determining the value of assets. A custody and parenting time evaluation may take place if custody is an issue. In these circumstances, a case may not settle until the experts conclude their evaluations and render their reports. These processes take time and can delay the settlement of the case.

Once all issues are known, the main goal of the spouses is to reach a settlement and memorialize the terms of same into a contract. This contract is known as a Property Settlement Agreement (“PSA”). It can also be referred to as a Marital Settlement Agreement (“MSA”) – the terms are used interchangeably.

2.  Property Settlement Agreement

A PSA is a written agreement between a husband and wife. The PSA addresses all issues arising out of a marriage. The PSA covers all relevant and germane issues of the marriage. Custody, parenting time, child support, alimony, and equitable distribution are the general areas for consideration. Subcategories of those areas can be complex. Tailor the PSA to your individual marriage and to the facts of your case.

3. Filing

The divorce can be finalized once the parties have settled their issues and a PSA has been prepared, reviewed, approved and signed. To finalize the divorce, one party (the Plaintiff) has to file a Complaint for Divorce asserting a legally recognized cause of action for divorce. Most people are filing under irreconcilable differences as the grounds for their divorce.

There are also fault based grounds for divorce. The most utilized fault ground is extreme cruelty. Other causes of action, such as desertion or adultery, give a basis for the filing of a divorce complaint.

As long as the parties have a fully executed PSA, the other party can simply waive the right to answer the Complaint and the right to appear at the divorce hearing. In that event, the couple can expect to be divorced within 3-4 weeks. In some New Jersey counties, you can be divorced by mail and never have to appear in court.

4. Finalizing the Divorce

At the hearing, the Plaintiff will appear before a Superior Court Judge and the parties will be divorced on an uncontested basis. The Judge will sign a Final Judgment of Divorce. This Judgment legally dissolves the marriage.

The divorce is final and the post divorce relationship is now governed by the PSA.

If you have questions about this post or any other family law matter, please contact me at jlawrence@lawlawfirm.com.

Back to Blog
SHARE THIS POST:

Related Posts

Blog
The Advantages of Divorce Mediation

Reasons to Choose Divorce Mediation Over the Alternatives According to some sources, nearly half of all marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. Mediation results in a positive resolution in as many as 80% of all cases. Many divorce lawyers recommend mediation if possible because there are many advantages to this approach, including saving time…

Read More
Blog
Dealing With Taxes During Your Divorce

Planning for the Tax Aspects of a Divorce While divorce can be a challenging experience personally, emotionally and practically, the financial effects are some of the longest-lasting changes. Not only do you need to manage asset division and the resulting change to both parties’ finances, but you may also find it challenging to adjust to…

Read More
Blog
Is a Prenup or a Trust Better Advance Preparation for Divorce?

Prenup or a Trust? – Divorce-Proofing Your Assets When people in New Jersey decide to marry, they may not want to think about divorce. However, with more people marrying later in life, with established careers, as business owners or as parents of children from prior relationships, there are many good reasons to engage in financial…

Read More
Blog
Preparing for the Realities of Divorce

Meeting the Challenges of Divorce Dealing with an unhappy marriage can be painful and difficult. Whether there are severe conflicts or simply a growing apart over time, divorce is always challenging on personal, emotional and financial levels. While spouses in New Jersey know that divorce is a significant undertaking, it can be more difficult than…

Read More
Blog
How Can Divorce Affect Your Medical Practice?

How to Deal With Your Medical Practice in a Divorce New Jersey doctors going through a divorce may have particular concerns about how the end of the marriage will affect the future of their medical practice, especially as any private practice is typically a closely held business. Much like other business owners, physicians may worry…

Read More
Blog
What Documents Do You Need for Your Divorce Legal Consultation?

Documents to Give Your Divorce Attorney If you are considering a divorce in New Jersey, it is important to prepare the documents that you need to share with your family law attorney. While the decision to end a marriage may be deeply personal and emotional at its core, divorce is a legal and financial process…

Read More

Disclaimer and information can be found here, including links to descriptions and selection methodologies. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
Call Now ButtonCall Us