What if my spouse will not agree or comply when I file for Divorce?
Ocean & Monmouth County Default Divorce Lawyers
It used to be that for a divorce to be final you and your your spouse had to both agree to end your marriage. That’s not true anymore. New Jersey’s family laws are proactive and progressive. Revisions of the legal statutes around divorce in New Jersey, permit one spouse to divorce with or without the cooperation of the other spouse.
Family laws in New Jersey take into consideration that ending a marriage can sometimes be a one-sided decision. Situations of domestic abuse are a common example of divorce decisions in which spouses are on opposite sides about ending the marriage.
At the Bronzino Law Firm, our separation and divorce attorneys are representing families in your community including Asbury Park, Neptune, Wall, Manasquan, Point Pleasant, Brick, Jackson, Sea Girt, and across the Jersey Shore. We know that divorce is complicated. We provide effective and personalized legal solutions at reasonable rates.
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Divorces in which both spouses agree to file and participate
This is called an uncontested divorce. Under this type of separation and divorce, you and your spouse both agree to file the divorce complaint and participate by responding as may be required to execute the process. It includes reaching an agreement about all of the issues relevant to your divorce, for example, the type of alimony (spousal support) if any, child custody and support if you have children, and the division of property and debts following New Jersey’s laws of equitable distribution. Agreeing to an uncontested divorce is usually the easiest type of divorce and the least controversial.
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Divorce where one spouse refuses to participate and is non-compliant
Is your spouse hiding to avoid being served with the divorce court papers? Are they refusing to sign or particpate in any discussion surrounding your request for divorce?
If so, it can make ending your marriage more difficult, but it will not prevent it. Even if your spouse does not want to divorce, the divorce process can and will still move forward.
Often people believe that by not responding or not appearing in court, the situation will go away, resolve itself, or at the very least, delay or prevent the divorce from proceeding. That line of thinking is incorrect and in most cases the opposite may end up being the outcome.
Not only will the divorce proceed, but a person’s lack of participation is interpreted by the law as a relinquishing of rights. The consequence is that whoever is non-compliant won’t have any say in the divorce proceeding or court judgment. This type of divorce is a default divorce.
If you have filed for divorce and your soon-to-be ex-spouse is uncooperative, consider speaking with an experienced family law and divorce attorney to discuss the possibility of pursuing a default divorce.
Steps in the Default Divorce Process
To give you an idea of what’s involved, here’s a generic overview of the process for obtaining a default judgement in New Jersey. Knowing this information may be helpful to you, but it doesn’t minimize or eliminate the advantages of having the legal guidance from a knowledgeable attorney who is dedicated to looking out for your best interests.
1. Filing and serving a complaint for divorce: Only one spouse needs to file papers to start the divorce process. If you are the filing spouse, all you need to do is complete the required forms. A representative of the court will attempt to serve the papers on your spouse and, if successful, your spouse will have 35 days to respond.
2. Serve Notice of Equitable Distribution & Case Information Statement: If your spouse does not respond, then the next step will be to serve him/her with a Notice of Equitable Distribution and Case Information Statement. Together these two documents address all of the divorce issues relevant to your family and marriage, such as child custody, visitation, alimony, child support, division of all assets, insurance coverage and debt payment responsibilities; along with other information about income, assets, liabilities and possibly a monthly budget.
3. Getting the Divorce Decree: A family court judge will also receive a copy of the Case Information Sheet and other case documents to review as part of the court’s preparation to make a final judgment. A date will be set for the court hearing and the court will attempt to serve your spouse with notice of it.
Contact a Brick NJ Divorce and Family Law Firm today
The Bronzino Law Firm is committed to providing the best quality representation in Monmouth and Ocean Counties and in all of our surrounding communities. If you are facing a divorce and your spouse is uncooperative, contact us today at 732-812-3102. We have extensive experience in family law matters and can help you know your options.
Depending on the extent of your spouse’s participation, he/she may have the right to participate in the final hearing and to oppose your requests. Regardless of whether he or she appears, as long as your requests are seen as fair and reasonable, the judge will most likely accept them and grant your divorce.