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Types of Divorce in New Jersey

When couples go through a divorce, they must settle many legal matters before the process is complete. During the proceedings, spouses are required to come together and discuss their marital issues in order to reach an agreement regarding their future arrangements. While it is not possible for all spouses, some are able to do this without the assistance of a judge. It is because of this that there are several types of divorce in the state of New Jersey. These different processes fit different divorce situations depending on the couple’s personal situation. If you are going through a divorce, an experienced attorney in Morris County can assist you during the process.

Contested Divorce

When a couple cannot agree to the terms of their divorce, they may be required to continue the process through litigation. This occurs when neither spouse signs an agreement for their marital issues and leaves them unresolved. This is known as a contested divorce. When this happens, a judge can be assigned to make these decisions for them in court. This allows the judge to make decisions regarding marital issues such as child support, child custody, the division of assets, and alimony.

Couples who decide to divorce can cite either “fault” or “no-fault” grounds to begin the proceedings. When fault grounds is cited, it means one spouse wishes to hold the other responsible for the end of their marriage. This can be cited in situations such as adultery, habits of intoxication, abuse, desertion, or prison sentences of 5+ years.

Uncontested Divorce

There are other types of divorce in which a spouse cites “no-fault” grounds. When this happens, neither spouse wishes to hold the other responsible for the end of their marriage. These situations require the spouses to reach an agreement regarding the terms of their divorce. When they do, this is known as an uncontested divorce. In these situations, both spouses believe their marriage cannot be fixed and agree to their separation terms. This is also known as an “Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage.”


Couples usually do not want to go through a litigated divorce if they can avoid it. Sometimes, they may seek an alternative method that exists outside of the courtroom. One common alternative divorce method is mediation. This process brings spouses together to negotiate their marital issues and come to an agreement. This is done with the help of an unbiased third party that exists to assist them in reaching these agreements. The mediator does not make any decisions for the spouses, they make them on their own with the guidance of the mediator. Conversations that take place in mediation cover issues such as division of assets, child support, child custody, and alimony. Once spouses reach decisions regarding these matters, the mediator can present a signed document outlining them to the court.


Another option for divorce outside of litigation is arbitration. Similar to mediation, this process also involves a third party. However, it is different in the sense that the third party acts as a judge instead of a mediator. This individual is able to make all decisions regarding the couple’s marital issues.

Contact our Firm

If you need an experienced legal team to guide you through your divorce, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C today.