Spouse Will Not Sign For New Jersey Divorce and What To Do By Santo Artusa on September 16, 2020


When filing for divorce, If it is clear your spouse will not sign any divorce agreement and will contest it, you will need to know what to do and expect. As a divorce lawyer in New Jersey, I am well versed in cases where a spouse will not sign, making the case contested. If your spouse is served and does not respond, then you will or your attorney will seek default judgment in the New Jersey Superior Court in your local county.

We Both Want a Divorce So Why Is It Contested?

Unless there is an agreement as to all issues, it is contested (the legal issues are contested).

If your husband or wife will not sign a waiver of relief, you need to have a process server serve the summons and divorce complaint. Once the serving legal documents is complete, you should send a proof of service to the court or your divorce attorney will. After service of process, He or she will then have 35 days to respond in writing by way of appearance, answer and or counterclaim. By doing so, the next step will be a case management conference which the attorneys lay out the legal issues in contention and then the Family Court Judge sets deadlines for certain work to be done (discovery, settlement conferences, etc). In some counties, appearances are not necessary and a case management order can be submitted.

We have nothing in joint names so how can she ask for half or equitable distribution?

Marriage is a joint enterprise regardless of the legal title of a bank account, property, etc. Whether it is marital or premarital is another issue.

We were not married long, can my spouse get alimony?

A spouse can seek alimony. Whether he or she can get it is case specific. Like other legal issues in a divorce, if you cannot agree it will be decided after a divorce trial.

What if we agree on some things but not all?

The issues not agreed on will be decided by a Judge.

How long will it take to obtain a divorce if we do not agree?

It can take a year or more. The goal for Judges is to complete a case within 365 days.

So if your spouse has indicated he or she will not sign or agree to the divorce, it may be wise to consult and retain a New Jersey Divorce Lawyer to represent you during the divorce process in New Jersey. If you have a case, contact us on 973-337-9643.




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Santo V. Artusa, Jr.

Santo V. Artusa, Jr.

Since 2009, Mr. Artusa has dedicated his career to representing clients in and near Jersey City in family law and criminal cases. He is a skilled negotiator and litigator who has received a range of prestigious recognitions, including:

  • The National Trial Lawyers Top 100
  • Avvo 10.0 Superb Rating
  • Client Distinction Award 2015

For more information about our legal services, contact our office online or call (973) 337-9643 today.

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