What Is a Contested Divorce? What Is an Uncontested Divorce?

Contested vs Uncontested Divorce Passaic County NJ

In divorce, agreements need to be settled before a divorce can be finalized. The issues involved in ending a marriage may heart wrenching and contentious. In some divorces every detail such as the distribution of property, child custody, child support and alimony are hotly contested in the family courts of Passaic County. However there are some situations in which a divorcing couple will already have reached agreements before filing for divorce, or the defendant does not respond to the divorce complaint leading to an uncontested divorce.

Though the term “contested divorce” may sound messy, not every contested divorce needs to be a battle.  Moreover even when a divorce is uncontested it doesn’t mean that it will be easy or simple. It is highly recommended that neither party agree to divorce settlements without, at the very least, first speaking with a qualified and experienced Passaic County divorce attorney.

Wayne NJ Uncontested Divorce Attorneys

When a divorce is filed by someone, they are required to provide notice of the filing to their spouse; from the time of that notification their spouse has thirty-five (35) days to respond to the divorce complaint.

When couples are able to completely agree on every aspect of their final divorce settlement agreement during the 35 day window and put those agreements into writing, they can then place their divorce filing onto the “uncontested divorce” expedited (fast) processing track.  This can lead to a much faster resolution the divorce.  As attractive as this may seem it is always best to speak to a skilled Wayne divorce attorney first.  This can assure that you obtain the best possible situation for your post-divorce life, and do not unknowingly sign a divorce agreement which is highly unfavorable to you, damaging to your long-term interests, or simply hurts both you and your ex-spouse financially.

Put simply, an uncontested divorce means that both spouses come to an agreement on all the key terms of the divorce, including:

  • division of the marital assets and including all debts
  • child custody and visitation
  • child support
  • alimony
  • tax deductions
  • as well as any other dispute involving the marriage

If you or your spouse are not in agreement about any of these items, your divorce will be considered “contested” and it will have to go to trial. It is important to note that you can still reach an agreement at any time before the judge issues a final ruling.

Clifton NJ Contested Divorce Lawyers

In truth, most couples will not be in complete agreement over the exact terms of their divorce settlement agreement. In such cases, the spouse receiving the initial divorce complaint will “answer” the divorce complaint, at that time their divorce becomes a “contested divorce”, and the exact terms of their divorce settlement agreement will need to be decided through the variety of means available to any couple seeking to divorce.

There are several different forms of resolving a contested divorce that do not involve lengthy and stressful legal battles; among them are pre-trial negotiations. The more willing each side of a divorce is to openly, honestly, and constructively negotiate the terms of their divorce settlement, the less “contested” their divorce will actually needs to be. In fact, the number of couples who are able to resolve their divorce through pre-trial negotiations is substantial.

Important to understand that even though your divorce is “contested”, that doesn’t mean that it has to be a contest, there are many ways to amicably and fairly reach agreements without resulting in extreme legal costs or end up with the parties hating or resenting one another.

Contact Our Woodland Park Divorce and Family Law Attorneys Today

Whether contested or uncontested, it is recommended that you have a skilled and experienced Passaic County family law attorney on your side when resolving your divorce. Our clients in Woodland Park, Clifton, Wayne, Little Falls and West Milford have found comfort in knowing they have a dedicated and knowledgeable lawyer who will fight for their needs and rights.

The divorce attorneys of The Montanari Law Group are proud to serve families from across Passaic County towns such as Paterson, Little Falls, Clifton, Woodland Park, Wayne, West Milford and all of Northern New Jersey. Firm Partner, Michael Montanari, along with his highly qualified Legal Team brings a level of effort and energy that can move you through the process while lending an ear and making sure that they guide you and do not drive you to make some very important, emotional and difficult decisions at a crossroads in your life.

To learn more about uncontested and contested divorce in New Jersey, please contact us online or call our Woodland Park offices today at (973) 233-4396 for a free and confidential consultation.



To speak with one of our highly knowledgeable attorneys, contact us today at (973)-233-4396 or toll-free at (888)-877-7985. You can also complete the form below to begin your conversation. We are a personalized, boutique-style law firm that offers free initial consultations and flexible appointment options.