Let’s face it: in our heart of hearts, hardly anybody wants to be involved in long, expensive, and drawn-out litigation.
Even attorneys–who generally relish being in the courtroom–know that an uncontested divorce often makes more sense for the clients than drawn out divorce litigation.
Of course, there might be a huge battle getting to the point where a party feels comfortable with the Settlement terms, but the goal of both parties should (generally) be to settle the case, and to then enter into what is known in New Jersey as an uncontested divorce.
Uncontested Divorce Hearings
A New Jersey uncontested divorce hearing will be scheduled when the parties reach a Settlement, and advise the Court of the Settlement and intent to divorce. The actual uncontested divorce hearing is actually (in my opinion) the least complex part of the entire divorce process.
The Plaintiff and his or her attorney (if the Plaintiff has counsel), will attend the uncontested hearing. The Defendant/counsel will often choose to attend as well, although this is not required provided the Defendant did not file a counterclaim.
The parties will then be asked certain questions by their counsel, to establish a “cause of action” and that the settlement agreement is valid and willingly entered into. The cause of action is the divorce grounds, such as irreconcilable differences.
The Judge may then follow up with a few additional questions, although they will not make a determination as to whether the Agreement itself is fair and equitable.
After the Hearing
After the hearing, the parties will be given gold-sealed copies of their Judgment of Divorce. It is important to keep this copy in a safe place, should future issues arise. It is also important to remember that there will often be certain unresolved issues or other post-divorce loose-ends/business to take care of. Your attorney should offer some guidance as to these issues. One thing to consider is immediately changing your will, so that your ex-spouse will be removed as a beneficiary.
The uncontested divorce hearing is a day of closure. It will likely be a bitter-sweet day for both parties. It’s both a closure and also the start of a new beginning. A qualified New Jersey Divorce attorney should be able to walk you through this procedure; by notifying you of what to expect the day of the hearing, reviewing the uncontested divorce questions with you in advance so you are prepared the day of the hearing, and later advising you of post-divorce loose ends.
Your New Jersey Divorce Lawyer:
If you’re considering a New Jersey divorce or Family Law action contact me to discuss your options. You can schedule an initial consultation by calling my office at 908-237-3096 or by scheduling your own divorce consultation online by clicking here.