Litigated Divorce versus Uncontested Divorce
Litigation occurs when two spouses cannot agree on the basic terms of a divorce, such as the division of assets and child support and custody issues. When two parties cannot agree, they will argue before the judge on the contested issues, who will then determine the outcome based on state law, equity precedence, and the best interests of the children.
An uncontested divorce can be beneficial when both parties are on equal footing either financially or emotionally. In an uncontested divorce, the parties will come to an agreement on the financial and child custody issues ahead of the hearing date. Often, the parties will mediate with attorneys. Parties may be more apt to settle on certain issues when attorneys give advice about how a judge may decide the issue if the matter goes before the court. It can also save time and money if the spouses can agree without litigation.
Typical Issues Addressed in a Divorce Settlement Agreement
Some of the main issues decided in a divorce include:
- The division of debt
- The division of property
- Whether one spouse is entitled to a portion of the other’s pension
- The amount and duration of alimony
- The amount and duration of any child support
- Custody issues, including parenting time and responsibilities
Divorces where there are little assets and no children will likely have less issues when deciding the details of a divorce settlement agreement. If there are any obvious inequities among the parties, despite their agreement, the judge in the divorce proceeding may question the parties to help determine if they have entered into the agreement willingly and to see if the agreement is fair and equitable.
Hiring a Divorce Attorney
Where both parties have different attorneys representing their interests, the judge will be less likely to question the terms of a settlement. If both parties are unrepresented, a judge may ask more questions to make sure one party was not coerced into the agreement.
Even if you and your spouse agree on the terms of your divorce settlement, it is always a good idea to have an attorney review it before filing it with the court to help determine if it generally comports with state laws and guidelines.
Morristown Divorce Lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Guide Clients Through Contested and Uncontested Divorces
Understanding the issues that must be resolved is crucial to an inclusive divorce settlement agreement. If you are contemplating filing for divorce, the Morristown divorce lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. can guide you through the process. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 908-575-9777 today. Located in Morristown and Somerville, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Somerset, Woodbridge, Morristown, Parsippany, Rockaway, Short Hills, Chatham, Randolph, Madison, and Morris Plains.