The Pros And Cons Of An Uncontested Divorce
The decision to end a marriage is perhaps one of the toughest decisions couples have to make during the course of their respective lifetimes. However, under certain circumstances, the decision to end a marriage may be made considerably easier if the couple decides to undergo the process of securing an uncontested divorce as opposed to […]
The decision to end a marriage is perhaps one of the toughest decisions couples have to make during the course of their respective lifetimes. However, under certain circumstances, the decision to end a marriage may be made considerably easier if the couple decides to undergo the process of securing an uncontested divorce as opposed to a contested divorce.
Just as the name suggests, in an uncontested divorce, couples come to an agreement regarding the ground or grounds by which to request a divorce. Moreover, in order to secure an uncontested divorce, couples must also come to a mutual understanding regarding all issues that are ancillary to the divorce. These ancillary issues include whether one party will pay the other party alimony, how custody of their children will be divided between them, whether one party will pay the other party child support and, if so, how much, and how the marital property will be divided between the parties. If the couples can come to an agreement as to all of these issues, then they can likely secure an uncontested divorce in New Jersey.
Because in an uncontested divorce the parties have to come to a mutual agreement as to all claims alleged in a divorce complaint or subsequent responsive pleading, there are multiple benefits to securing a divorce decree in this manner. First, since the parties must come to an agreement on all divorce-related issues and this is usually done without going to court, court involvement in the divorce action is usually scant and the parties’ respective attorneys will often spend less time and energy on the case than if they had to litigate it. Less court involvement and less billable hours translates into cheaper litigation and attorneys fees for the parties.
Stated differently, those who undergo the uncontested divorce process usually spend less money on securing a divorce than those who contest one or more divorce-related claims. Second, coming to an agreement as to all divorce-related claims usually indicates that the parties have and will continue to have an amicable relationship with one another. This benefit may come in handy later down the road in the event that, for example, modifications to alimony or child custody arrangements must be made. Third, because the parties usually do not have to appear in court to litigate an aspect of the divorce, they do not have to wait until the court has time to schedule their case for hearing or argument. This means that, in most cases, those who undergo the uncontested divorce process will secure a divorce decree more quickly than those undergo the contested divorce process.
Even though undergoing the uncontested divorce process may cause a couple to reap the above-stated benefits, under certain circumstances, pursuing an uncontested divorce is not the best option. For instance, if the couple already has a hostile relationship with one another or it is known that one of the spouses is unable to compromise on specific issues, efforts to obtain an uncontested divorce may prove futile. Consequently, undergoing the uncontested divorce process may only serve to delay the couple in obtaining a divorce while, at the same time, produce the unintended consequence of further straining the parties’ relationship with one another.
Trying to secure an uncontested divorce may also be a bad idea if there is a significant disparity of power between the parties, which places one spouse in an unfair bargaining position over the other. In this instance, it may be best, at least for the weaker party, to contest certain aspects of the divorce to ensure the party receives what the party deserves.
Furthermore, if one or both of the spouses are of a religious faith that frowns upon obtaining a divorce, sometimes securing an uncontested divorce can serve to cause the parties emotional turmoil. In this case, it might be best for the religious spouse to either contest the divorce in the hopes that the filing spouse will not go through with the divorce action or to try to secure an annulment of the marriage.
Contact a Voorhees Family Law Attorney for a Consultation About Divorce 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 Voorhees, Lindenwold, Haddon Township, Collingswood and Haddonfield. 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 866-560-9512 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.