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How Can I Get A Divorce If My Spouse Won’t Cooperate?

Getting a divorce can be difficult enough, but having a spouse who just will not cooperate with the process can make everything seem so much more difficult. Fortunately, the courts in New Jersey can account for such things. Even if your spouse will not cooperate and work with you, you can still get a divorce. The Morris County, NJ divorce lawyers at our firm can help you with that.

Do Both Spouses Need to File for Divorce?

The state of New Jersey only requires one person to file for divorce. Then the process only stops if the person filing for divorce decides to withdraw their papers. Once you file for divorce, your spouse needs to be notified and served with divorce papers.

What Happens When You Serve Your Spouse Divorce Papers?

A process server will do their best to deliver a copy of the divorce papers to your spouse. They will look for them at work, at home, or at any other address that is currently on file. If they can be found and served, then they need to respond and be ready to make their own arguments in court.

When Can I Ask for a Default Judgment When My Spouse Is Not Responsive?

Sometimes spouses do not respond to the divorce papers though. You should not have to be stuck in limbo just because they do not want to cooperate. This is why there is a time limit. They must respond to papers within 35 days. If they do not respond within this time limit, it is time to ask for a default judgment.

A default judgment allows a judge to decide on important issues related to the divorce without the input of your spouse. A judge can look at the facts of your case and decide upon things like child support, alimony, and property distribution even though your spouse is not participating in the proceedings. The judge will still try to do this fairly. You will not get everything just because you are the only one there. So it is still important to have a lawyer who can help you argue for the best possible outcomes.

After your spouse fails to respond, you have just 60 days to request a default judgment. You also need to show a few things when you request this judgment. You need to show that:

  • Your spouse was served with a complaint of divorce
  • Your spouse did not respond to your petition
  • Your spouse is not in the military

Then the courts can move forward without them.

Contact Our Law Firm

If you are ready to file for divorce, do not worry about what your spouse is going to do. Call Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark to set up your initial consultation. We can help guide you through this process and deal with any obstacles that come up.