Hackensack Uncontested Divorce
Understanding the Process in Bergen County
Every settled divorce matter ends with an uncontested divorce. This is the court proceeding in which the parties are officially divorced. Each party is questioned by his or her own attorney as to the underlying cause of action and jurisdictional predicate for the complaint and counterclaim for divorce.
In addition, each side is questioned by his or her attorney as to the agreement. The purpose of this questioning is to establish a record of each party’s assent to be bound by the agreement, so as to minimize the likelihood that the agreement will be reopened at a later date by one of the parties, claiming that he or she did not understand the terms.
What You Can Expect
Essentially, the following questions can be expected as to the agreement at the time of the uncontested divorce proceeding:
- Did you sign the agreement?
- Did you have the opportunity to read the agreement before signing it?
- Do you understand the terms of the agreement?
- Was the agreement the result of arm’s length negotiation?
- Did anyone threaten or coerce you into entering the agreement?
- Do you believe that the agreement is fair and reasonable under the circumstances?
- Do you understand that you have the right to proceed with a trial, instead of entering into an agreement, and that at a trial you could present evidence, and wind up with a decision that differs from the terms of your agreement?
- Are you waiving your right to such a trial?
- Are you under the influence of any drugs or alcohol that would impair your ability to enter into an agreement, or understand its terms?
- What is your highest level of education?
- Do you read and write English?
- Are you able to maintain a standard of living comparable to that which you maintained during the marriage?
- Do you intend to abide by the terms of the agreement?
- Are you happy with the services of your attorney?
- Do you have any questions of your counsel, or of the court?
It is significant to note that the judge will expressly state that if he or she makes no findings as to the reasonableness or unreasonableness of the agreement. In fact, the court will not even read the agreement, let alone pass judgment on its terms. However, the court will direct the parties to abide by the terms and conditions of the agreement.
For help throughout the process, turn to our Hackensack lawyers at Laterra & Hodge, LLC. Schedule your free consultation today.