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Can I Finalize My Divorce Even if Child Custody Hasn’t Been Decided?

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Child Custody and Divorce

The individual requirements of divorce proceedings vary, depending on the details of the case. If you are dealing with both a divorce and a child custody case, it can not only complicate the process but also slow down the timeline.

The answer to this question is really, it depends. There are many factors that dictate whether or not you can finalize your divorce without first completing your child custody case.

Types of Divorce Filings in New Jersey

Each state has its own requirements regarding when you can file and complete your divorce or child custody case. In the state of New Jersey, there are three types of divorce to be aware of, which include:

  • Pre or post-nuptial agreement: Marriages that have a pre or post-nuptial agreement have a set of rules they must follow. In fact, you will find that if there is an agreement in place already, the judge will likely not rule on your case. Instead, they will enforce the terms set forth in the agreement. If child custody was already decided upon, this is what will usually be followed.
  • Contested divorce: A contested divorce is one in which one of the parties does not agree to the divorce. One of the spouses may have concerns about child custody or financial concerns. A contested divorce will often take longer and cannot be finalized until the child custody case is already completed.
  • Uncontested divorce: An uncontested divorce is one in which both parties agree to the divorce and the terms of the divorce. In this case, both spouses usually want the divorce to go as quickly as possible. If each partner has already agreed on an acceptable child custody arrangement, then the judge may allow the divorce to be completed before the child custody has been legally filed.

The type of divorce case you are dealing with will dictate the time it requires and whether or not you can finalize it before child custody is agreed upon. A case where each parent is fighting for full-custody can complicate things. A case in which both parents agree to custody agreements means that both parties can move on quicker.

When to Seek Legal Counsel From a Divorce Lawyer

Some divorces are simple. Each partner agrees that a divorce is best and is able to come to an agreement regarding finances, real estate, and child custody. Other cases, however, can be more difficult to navigate. One partner may feel that they are more deserving of assets or that the children are best with them. When there are disagreements as to the best way to divide things, it is best to seek legal representation.

Complicated divorce cases that involve numerous properties, alimony support, or unique child custody agreements may also require the assistance of a divorce lawyer. A divorce lawyer will not only look out for your best interests, but they will also help you speed up the divorce process so you can begin to heal and move on.

Contact a Winslow Family Law Attorney for a Consultation About Your Child Custody Case in New Jersey Today

If you are thinking about filing for divorce, or if you have already started the divorce process and are dealing with another matter such as child custody, child support, or division of assets, you need to speak with a qualified attorney. The New Jersey family law attorneys at Davis & Mendelson represent clients throughout the state, including Lindenwold, Winslow, Camden, and Cherry Hill. We understand how challenging this time can be for you, which is why we will fight hard to protect your interests, and the interests of your loved ones, throughout the legal process. Call us at (856) 627-0100 or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a consultation. We have an office conveniently located at 1200 Laurel Oak Road, Suite 101, Voorhees, NJ 08043.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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