New Jersey State Bar Association
Bergen County Bar Association

Contested Divorce Without Children

Family Law Attorney Advocating for Residents of Northern New Jersey

It may seem at first glance that almost any divorce is contested because a divorce would not likely happen if the spouses had no disagreements. To understand the legal difference between a contested divorce and an uncontested divorce, however, it is helpful to appreciate that “contested” in the context of a divorce does not refer to not getting along with your spouse. Instead, it refers to the process by which your marriage is to be dissolved through the divorce. Whether or not children are involved has an impact on the issues that arise. If you anticipate that a contested divorce without children lies ahead for your spouse and you, or if you find yourself in a contested divorce situation, legal advice is crucial to protect your rights. Bergen County contested divorce lawyer Howard B. Leopold can assist you. Leopold Law offers advice and representation to residents of communities throughout Northern New Jersey.

Contested Divorce When Children are Not Involved

In a New Jersey uncontested divorce, the spouses are able to come to an agreement on the material terms of their divorce, which entails putting their differences aside and has the effect of minimizing third-party intervention in decisions that will affect them in the short and long term. Among the issues that can be resolved by agreement is property division, including the division of marital assets and debts after divorce. However, this is not always possible for divorcing couples. The alternative is a contested divorce, which arises from an inability to come to an agreement with respect to the material terms. This can result in extensive intervention by courts and related procedures. Given the range of issues that can arise during the course of a marriage and the varying circumstances of divorces, contested divorces are not unusual.

An experienced divorce attorney can help Bergen County residents navigate a contested divorce without children, helping them meet court-imposed deadlines and adhere to all of the procedural requirements. The process starts with the filing of a complaint. Failing to timely respond to the complaint can result in a forfeiture of rights. As in other litigation matters, the process continues from there to discovery. In divorce cases in New Jersey, each party needs to file a Case Information Statement (CIS). This document discloses financial matters, such as income, expenses, assets, and liabilities. Then, there is typically further discovery, as part of which the spouses can seek to obtain more information from each other than what is provided in the CIS. Parties can serve interrogatories and take depositions as part of the discovery process.

The next step in the process is designed to lead the spouses to settlement, which can reduce further investments of time and money inherent in the contested divorce process. An Early Settlement Panel made up of experienced divorce attorneys considers the cases made by each of the divorcing parties and makes a nonbinding determination with respect to financial matters. If a settlement is not achieved thereafter, a case proceeds to trial.

Some contested divorce cases go to trial. Outcomes vary based on the strength of the arguments presented and the evidence in support of them. Retaining an experienced Bergen County attorney is of critical importance at this stage. While most divorce cases do not ultimately go to trial, a well-prepared spouse who is prepared to go to trial and prepares their case with counsel is more likely to achieve a workable result while minimizing costs through a favorable settlement.

Seek Guidance Regarding the Dissolution of a Marriage in Bergen County or Beyond

A contested divorce without children is a process that is fraught with financial consequences during it and afterward. If you have questions about your rights and how to navigate the legal system in a contested divorce process, whether it is with or without children, call us at (201) 345-5907 for a free consultation or use our online form to schedule an appointment with a Bergen County attorney. Howard B. Leopold serves people throughout Bergen, Essex, Passaic, and Hudson Counties, including in Hackensack, Englewood, Fair Lawn, Fairview, Fort Lee, Franklin Lakes, Garfield, Glen Rock, Hasbrouck Heights, Bergenfield, Cliffside Park, Dumont, Edgewater, Elmwood Park, Oakland, Palisades Park, Paramus, Ramsey, Ridgefield, Ridgefield Park, Hillsdale, Little Ferry, Lodi, Lyndhurst, Mahwah, New Milford, North Arlington, Ridgewood, River Edge, Rutherford, Saddle Brook, Teaneck, Tenafly, Wallington, Westwood, Wyckoff, Jersey City, Paterson, and Newark.

Client Reviews
"I had a legal issue with a contract and Mr. Leopold was nothing but truthful, just and honest about how I should proceed with my case. The guidance I received was nothing short of exceptional. I would have no issue whatsoever with recommending him to anyone who needs legal advice or services. He is your man if you need a keen legal eye watching out for you." Iam E.
"Howard gave me the courage to stand up for myself. He showed me the person I could be and encouraged me to make decisions with a healthy future in mind. " Chloe
"Howard went above and beyond for me. He responded to emails, texts, and calls day and night and was aggressive in Court. I am grateful for all his efforts." Pia