Everything You Need to Know to Choose the Right Type of Divorce to Meet Your Needs & Objectives
Knowing it’s time for divorce can be just the first step in the process of ending your marriage. The next step is choosing what type of divorce to pursue. In fact, depending on your situation, you may have various options for how to legally dissolve your marriage in the eyes of New Jersey law. The option you select can have several impacts on how your case proceeds, from how long it takes to resolve to the costs and more.
To help you understand the options for marriage dissolution in New Jersey, here is an overview of the different types of divorce, how each works, and when they can be a good option for ex-spouses. When you need more advice, the Red Bank divorce lawyers at Dwyer, Bachman, Newman & Solop Attorneys at Law will be ready to help you. Our team is on standby, here to help you figure out which option is best for you so that you can make the right decisions as you move forward.
Uncontested Divorce in New Jersey
When ex-spouses do not see eye to eye on all of the issues in their divorce, they can file for an uncontested divorce. This is typically the fastest option for divorce because:
- Ex-spouses will devise their own divorce settlement agreement: This should cover property distribution and spousal support, as well as child support and custody if children are involved. When couples have valid prenuptial or post-nuptial agreements, these contracts can largely dictate how to delineate the marital issues in a divorce settlement agreement.
- There will be minimal court involvement: The court will step in to review the divorce settlement agreement and, in most cases, approve it. If there are any special motions or hearings needed for the case, like temporary custody or support orders, the court will intervene to handle those matters as well. However, by and large, the court will stay out of the decision-making process regarding the marital issues in uncontested divorce cases.
Please be aware that, even though divorce may start uncontested, it can become contested as exes get into the nitty-gritty details of finances, debt, custody, and other sensitive topics. That is why it’s important to have the counsel of an attorney in any type of divorce case.
Contested Divorce in New Jersey
If exes disagree about any issue in their divorce case, they will have a contested case. With a contested divorce case in New Jersey:
- The courts may order mediation first: Sometimes, the courts will want exes to try to come to an agreement on their own before intervening. Often the case for parents involved in custody disputes, court-ordered mediation may help simplify or resolve certain matters before they go before a judge.
- A judge will make the final decision on the disputed issue(s): Any matters that a couple is still fighting over will be brought before a family court judge, with each side having the opportunity to present their arguments and evidence. After hearing from both sides on all points of dispute, the judge will issue a ruling in the form of a Judgement of Divorce.
The more issues that exes are fighting over in divorce, the longer and more complex their divorce cases can be. That is especially true when there are allegations of domestic violence, concealed marital assets, and/or other wrongdoing. With these allegations can come additional investigations, hearings, court orders, and more.
Divorce Alternatives in Monmouth County, NJ
Beyond uncontested and contested divorce in New Jersey, there are also other legal options for the dissolution of a marriage. These alternatives may not be viable for every couple, but they can provide some distinct advantages in certain situations.
While divorce ends a marriage in the eyes of the law, an annulment will render a marriage void, meaning that it never officially existed in the eyes of the law. In New Jersey, there are strict grounds for pursuing annulments. These can include (and are not limited to):
- Impotence that has been incurable since the time of the marriage
- Mental impairment or intoxication at the time of the marriage
- The use of coercion or deception, including fraud, to get one party to submit to the marriage
- A close biological relationship between the spouses
The finality of divorce may not be the right step for some exes. At times, there may be a need or desire to take an interim step towards divorce. In those cases, legal separation can be a good move. Unlike most states, New Jersey is one of the few that does not have a formal legal process for legal separations. Instead, exes will need to develop a formal separation agreement, detailing how they want their marital issues, such as the division of their marital property, spousal support payments, and/or child custody to be handled.
Effectively, this lets couples remain married on paper so they can test out a separation, preserve health insurance benefits, and/or observe religious beliefs. When properly devised, separation agreements in New Jersey are enforceable in the courts, and they can expedite a future divorce if exes choose to proceed with that option.
Mediation & Arbitration
As an alternative to divorce litigation in New Jersey, mediation and arbitration are out-of-court options that can result in faster resolutions. Although divorce mediation and the arbitration will not be a good fit for all couples, they can provide unique benefits in some cases, like those in which exes are willing and able to make compromises. Some of these advantages can include:
- Cost savings: A shorter divorce process can save on court costs and other fees, preserving more finances for life after divorce.
- Better resolutions: Exes can have more of a say in the outcome of their divorce when they pursue mediation or arbitration. This can lead to custom, creative, personally tailored solutions that work better for everyone involved.
Get More Answers & Experienced Advocacy from a Top-Rated Monmouth County Divorce Lawyer: Contact Us
When it’s time to find out your best options for ending a marriage in Monmouth County, it’s time to contact a Red Bank divorce lawyer at Dwyer, Bachman, Newman & Solop Attorneys at Law.
The reality is that your choices in divorce can have major impacts on how long the process takes, how much it costs you, and how your life looks after a divorce. When you want to choose the best option to support your circumstances, needs, and goals, you want a Red Bank divorce lawyer at Dwyer, Bachman, Newman & Solop Attorneys at Law in your corner.
Our boutique family law firm specializes in representing exes in all types of divorce, including traditional litigation, divorce mediation, arbitration, and legal separations. No matter how complex your case may be, we can provide superior representation and exceptional counsel throughout the process.
Call (732) 431-0150 or contact us online now for essential legal advice and answers regarding your options in divorce.
With more than 100 years of combined family law experience, our trusted lawyers have deep knowledge of New Jersey divorce law, processes, and alternatives. We also know the various strategies that can be effective in different types of divorce cases. That is how we excel at helping our clients:
- Navigate the divorce process: Don’t make short-sided decisions because you are unaware of better alternatives or you can’t see the bigger picture. We will explain what’s at stake and provide the experienced counsel you need when it’s time to make the tough choices.
- Protect what matters most: With our experienced counsel, you’ll know what you need to do to avoid compromising your case, your standing, and your goals.
- Achieve favorable resolutions: We are known for working tirelessly to get the best possible results. When you partner with us, our goal will be to bring your case to a favorable close so you can move on with your life.
From offices based in Red Banks and Old Bridge Township, our family lawyers are proud to offer the highest-quality divorce representation to clients throughout Monmouth County.