Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce
Divorce can be a time-consuming and expensive process. Moreover, if children are involved, divorce can be highly contentious and have devastating emotional consequences that affect you and your loved ones going forward. That’s why it is often in everyone’s best interests to reach an amicable resolution and avoid a legal battle in family court by […]
Divorce can be a time-consuming and expensive process. Moreover, if children are involved, divorce can be highly contentious and have devastating emotional consequences that affect you and your loved ones going forward. That’s why it is often in everyone’s best interests to reach an amicable resolution and avoid a legal battle in family court by going through divorce mediation or collaborative divorce.
Sometimes, however, it’s not possible to work things out without heading to court. These cases are more commonly referred to as “contested divorces.” When your divorce is contested, it means that a major issue is unresolved. The most common unresolved issues in a divorce are alimony, equitable property division, child custody and visitation rights, child support, and parenting time. Depending on the nature of your divorce and the number of issues that are in dispute, it’s possible that a resolution and final judgment of divorce could take a very long time.
In New Jersey, you will likely have to go through mediation and settlement conferences before your divorce case ultimately reaches the trial stage. That’s because there is a backlog of cases in family courts throughout NJ, including the Family Division of the Camden County Superior Court. The court clog means that the State has an interest in making sure that you exhaust every possible avenue for settling your divorce prior to going to trial.
Once you reach the trial stage in your divorce case, your attorney will be expected to present evidence and call witnesses to testify on your behalf. This may include expert reports and expert testimony, which can be very costly.
In many instances, it’s possible for the divorcing spouses to avoid trial by reaching an agreement. Although the initial days and weeks following a divorce filing might involve heated arguments between the spouses, the attorneys handling the case may be able to work out a resolution that suits the needs of all parties in the divorce proceeding. When you settle the contested issues and reach an understanding about things like spousal support, child custody, and child support, your attorney will be able to schedule a hearing so that the judge can approve the arrangement and issue a final judgment of divorce. This is known as an uncontested divorce – and it is usually preferable to a contested divorce because it will save you a whole lot of time, money, and aggravation.
The best way to ensure that your divorce goes smoothly, and with a minimum of expense and stress, is to have an experienced family law attorney on your side very early in the process. A qualified divorce attorney can talk to the other side and negotiate on your behalf. Moreover, if necessary, your attorney can fight for you in the courtroom and ensure that you get everything to which you are entitled.
If you are thinking about filing for divorce in Camden County or anywhere else in NJ, you should speak with a qualified family law and divorce attorney immediately. The experienced divorce lawyers at Davis & Mendelson are prepared to help you throughout the divorce process. Contact us anytime to schedule a free initial consultation.