By: Carl A. Taylor III
You and your attorney have reviewed the Settlement Agreement over and over again. There were months (maybe even years) of discovery, settlement negotiations, and legal process that seemed like they might never end–and there were likely moments where it seemed that the end goal (divorce) might never be achieved at all. But you did it, and now you’re preparing for the New Jersey uncontested divorce hearing. You may be wondering, what can I expect?
First off, relax. As i’ve written on this blog before, the day of the divorce hearing is (generally) one of the simplest days of the divorce process. Now there is a caveat to that general rule, which is as follows: that is assuming that the Divorce Agreement has already been finalized and agreed to. Thus, if negotiations are still ongoing the day of your uncontested divorce (if it follows a case management conference or an ESP panel, etc), then the event will likely be much more stressful.
But let’s assume for the purposes of this blog post, that everything is in order prior to the day of the uncontested divorce hearing.
Day of the Uncontested New Jersey Divorce
You will (if represented) likely meet your attorney at the courthouse or inside the courtroom. The other party and his or her attorney will likely be there as well. The Judge will then ask each attorney (if applicable) to lay the foundation for the divorce. There are two major components to this:
1) The Cause of Action (have the statutory requirements for irreconcilable differences been met, for instance).
2) The Agreement (was the Agreement entered into without duress, for instance).
The foundation will consist of 20-40 questions overall from each side. The Defendant may not be required to lay out a cause of action if he or she did not file a counterclaim.
Maiden Name Resumption
This is also a great time for the resumption of a maiden name, as this can essentially be placed on the record without the need for further Court intervention.
Gold Sealed Copies
The Judge will then provide each party with a gold sealed judgment of divorce, incorporating the Divorce Agreement. With that in place, the parties are officially divorced. Your attorney should have some instructions for tying up loose ends following the divorce.
Note: It is very important to keep the gold sealed judgment and the Settlement Agreement in a safe place, as this will guide both parties in their new post-divorce relationship.
The Day of the Divorce will likely be bitter-sweet, but hopefully this brief blog post explained the process so there’s one less thing to worry about the day of the New Jersey Uncontested Divorce.
Your New Jersey Divorce Lawyer:
If you’re considering a New Jersey divorce or Family Law action contact me to discuss your options. You can schedule an initial consultation by calling my office at 908-237-3096 or by scheduling your own divorce consultation online by clicking here.