To dissolve a marriage with an uncontested divorce, both spouses must agree on matters like child custody and support (if applicable), property division, spousal support payments, and the grounds for the divorce.
Both parties must be in full agreement
Once both parties are in full agreement and the proper forms have been filed, the court places your case on its calendar. What happens at an uncontested divorce hearing will vary from state to state. If your spouse lives in New York State, has been served an Affidavit of Defendant, and the divorce remains uncontested, it is unlikely you will have to go to court unless the terms are being disputed.
The purpose of a hearing is for the judge to review your stated agreements on the dissolution of marriage, the documents submitted, and to ensure both parties entered the agreement voluntarily. If the judge approves your agreement, they will sign a Judgment of Divorce. In some cases, this judgment is signed that same day.
In New Jersey, the final step in achieving an uncontested divorce decree is with a hearing before a judge.
Questions at an Uncontested Divorce hearing
Any written agreements on the terms of your uncontested divorce will likely be repeated aloud during the hearing. After being sworn in, your divorce lawyer will ask you pointed questions that are designed to create a record in case a spouse has a change of heart at a later date.
It is crucial to answer the questions posed by your divorce attorney with candor and honesty, as they will be recorded on an official transcript. The following is a brief outline of the types of questions you can expect.
- Have you read and do you agree with the terms of your agreement?
- Is that your signature on page 4?
- Is that the signature of your spouse on page 11?
- Were you forced or coerced in any way into this agreement?
- Does this agreement encompass the entire settlement between you and your spouse?
- Is this a copy of your marriage certificate?
- How long has your spouse lived at this address?
- Do you believe that the settlement is fair to you?
- Have you entered into this agreement voluntarily?
- Are there any side agreements that need to be noted?
- Do you understand that by submitting this agreement, you wave rights to a future trial?
- Do you confirm that you, me, and your spouse have reviewed this agreement, paragraph by paragraph, in detail prior to submitting this to the court?
- Do you have any mental or physical impairment that would prevent you from understanding the terms of this agreement?
- Have all of your legal questions concerning the divorce agreement been answered to your satisfaction?
Once you have answered basic questions about your divorce agreement, the judge will ask you to state the reason for the divorce, known as a “cause of action.” During the hearing, the court will also ask you to confirm the date and place of your marriage, the names and birth/adoption dates of any children, living arrangements, and the length of residency in the state.
Once these issues have been satisfied, a Judgment of Divorce is signed and entered.
Divorce attorneys serving New Jersey & New York
The legal team of Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. has been practicing family law since 1975. If you have questions about filing for divorce in New Jersey or New York, we invite you to schedule a private consultation today. Contact us today to speak with an experienced divorce lawyer in Rockland County and Bergen County.