As recently as August 9, 2022, news reports indicated that New Jersey had a serious number of vacant judicial positions. The president of the New Jersey State Bar Association says that 68 of the 463 Superior Court judgeship seats, or 15%, are currently vacant. This problem is creating a major backflow with cases, including in divorce cases. Because of the greater difficulty of scheduling a judge to hear and decide a case, it may be preferable during this time to try to get an uncontested divorce. The Law Office of Andrew R. Fischer can help lay out your options and the pros and cons of each.
What Is an Uncontested Divorce?
An uncontested divorce is one in which the parties agree to all material terms of the dissolution of their marriage, which may include
- Equitable distribution of their property and debts
- Custody and parenting time for any minor children they have
- Alimony or spousal support
- Child support
Process to Get an Uncontested Divorce in New Jersey
If you and your spouse are ready to officially end your marriage, a knowledgeable divorce lawyer or mediator can help. Andrew R. Fischer is both a divorce lawyer and mediator. He can represent you as an attorney by explaining your legal rights to you, helping to prepare legal documents, and scheduling hearings as necessary in your case. Alternatively, he could meet with you and your spouse, help explain the legal process, and help you draft a joint property settlement agreement to amicably settle your divorce case.
The general process to get an uncontested divorce in New Jersey is:
Meet the Residency Requirement
You or your spouse must meet the residency requirement, which generally requires that one of the spouses be a resident of the state for at least 12 months. There are some exceptions, such as when the divorce are based on certain fault-based grounds.
File Legal Paperwork
The official divorce process is kicked off when a spouse files a complaint for divorce in the appropriate county of the New Jersey Superior Court. You must also take care of completing service on your spouse. Traditional service is completed by having a sheriff or professional process server serve the documents on your spouse. However, if your spouse agrees to accept them and waives the requirement of formal service, you save the time and expense of professional service. Your spouse then files a response with the court.
The initial paperwork, including the complaint and response, can indicate that the case is not contested, which alerts the court that the case can be fast-tracked and avoid a lengthy process.
Prepare a Joint Property Settlement Agreement
You will need the court to give an official order about the status of your divorce and how this affects your finances and legal rights. You and your spouse can prepare a joint property settlement agreement that commemorates the agreement you have with your spouse. Your joint property settlement agreement can discuss those factors that affect you, your spouse, your family, and your possessions, such as:
- Which property you will keep
- Which property your spouse will keep
- Which property you and your spouse will remain as co-owners
- How you will parent your children
- How you will divide parenting time of your children
- Child and spousal support
- College expenses, medical expenses, extracurricular activities, and travel expenses not mentioned in child support
- Requirements to maintain certain insurance policies
- The treatment of retirement accounts
How a New Jersey Family Lawyer and Mediator Can Help
A knowledgeable New Jersey family lawyer and mediator can help you fast track your case and avoid the issue of judicial vacancies by helping you reach an amicable divorce. They can help you by:
- Explaining your legal rights and options
- Recommending solutions based on your particular situation
- Negotiating terms with your spouse and/or their attorney
- Helping draft a joint property settlement agreement that you and your spouse agree on
- Presenting your settlement agreement to a judge for approval
Contact a Knowledgeable New Jersey Family Lawyer for Help
If you’d like to take a vacation with your children but are facing resistance from the other parent, you may need the help of an experienced family lawyer and mediator. A lawyer may be able to help negotiate a plan, file a court action, or mediate a resolution to help resolve the matter. For more information, contact the Law Office of Andrew R. Fischer. We provide confidential consultations to review your case and explain how we can help.