How to Prepare for a Contested Divorce in New Jersey

How to Prepare for a Contested Divorce in New Jersey

Going through a divorce is never easy, especially when disputes arise, making the process more complex and emotionally challenging. When this happens and your divorce becomes contested, you may find yourself stuck on the next step to take. For contested divorces in New Jersey, preparation is crucial. At Ziegler Law Group, LLC, we understand the nuances of New Jersey divorce law and are here to guide you through the preparation process and beyond.

What is a Contested Divorce in New Jersey?

A contested divorce is a legal proceeding that arises when spouses cannot come to mutual agreements on crucial aspects of their separation, including but not limited to property division, child custody arrangements, and financial support. Unlike uncontested divorces, where both parties are in accord regarding the terms of their separation and can swiftly dissolve their marriage with minimal intervention, contested divorces involve a level of conflict and disagreement that necessitates judicial intervention.

Due to the arguments that arise, a contested divorce often results in a complex and protracted legal process. With diverging viewpoints on matters such as asset division, alimony, and child custody, spouses may find themselves embroiled in litigation, with each party advocating for their interests before a judge. This process can be emotionally draining and financially burdensome for all involved, as it requires extensive legal representation, court appearances, and the presentation of evidence to support each party's position.

How Do You Prepare for a Contested Divorce?

Now that you understand a bit more about contested divorce, let’s discuss how to prepare. Contested divorces are not as smooth as uncontested divorce, as many lead to appearances in court.

The first step in preparing for a contested divorce is to seek the guidance of a skilled New Jersey divorce lawyer. Your lawyer will assess your situation, explain your rights, and outline your legal options. With their guidance, you can develop a strategic plan tailored to your specific needs and goals.

After that, the following things happen:


In a contested divorce, thorough documentation is essential. This may include financial records, property deeds, tax returns, and evidence related to child custody arrangements. Working closely with your lawyer, gather all necessary documents to support your case and ensure nothing is overlooked.


If disputes cannot be resolved through negotiation or mediation, a trial may be necessary to settle contested issues. Your lawyer will help you prepare for trial by gathering evidence, preparing witnesses, and developing a compelling legal argument. Being thoroughly prepared is essential to presenting your case effectively in court.

Keep in mind that navigating a contested divorce can be emotionally and mentally taxing, but it's important to remain patient and resilient throughout the process. Trust in your legal team to advocate for your interests and stay focused on achieving the best possible outcome for yourself and your family.


During the trial, both parties have the opportunity to present evidence and testimony in support of their respective positions. The judge evaluates the evidence presented and ultimately issues a ruling on contested issues such as property division, child custody, and financial support.

The judge's ruling in a contested divorce is based on thorough assessment of evidence, adherence to legal standards, and consideration of the parties' circumstances. Key factors in the ruling include:

  • Evidence: Evaluation of documents, testimony, and expert opinions presented by both parties.
  • Legal Standards: Application of New Jersey divorce law and precedents to ensure fairness.
  • Best Interests: Prioritization of children's well-being in custody and visitation arrangements.
  • Equitable Distribution: Fair division of marital assets and debts based on contributions and value.
  • Parenting Plan: Establishment of custody arrangements promoting children's stability and welfare.
  • Support Orders: Calculation of spousal and child support obligations to maintain reasonable standards of living.

While the trial process may be daunting, having a skilled legal advocate by your side significantly enhances your prospects for success.

Do You Need a NJ Divorce Lawyer for a Contested Divorce?

Although a divorce attorney is not required for a contested divorce proceeding, it is recommended. Furthermore, going into such a case without legal representation can be risky and jeopardize your rights and interests. An experienced divorce lawyer will provide invaluable support and advocacy, guiding you through each stage of the process and fighting to protect your rights. From negotiating settlements to representing you in court, your lawyer will be your strongest ally during this challenging time.

Contact a Divorce Lawyer in New Jersey Today to Learn More

If you're facing a contested divorce in New Jersey, don't navigate this complex process alone. Contact Ziegler Law Group, LLC today to schedule a consultation with a knowledgeable and compassionate divorce lawyer. We'll work tirelessly to protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome for you and your family. Let us help you through this difficult time with confidence and peace of mind.

Reach us by calling 973-533-1100 or by filling out the online form to schedule a free consultation with our team.

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