man signing a contract


While marriage can be a joyful occasion, it is also accompanied by stress. Even the best relationships will have issues that need to be dealt with by the couple. No matter how hard you try, sooner or later disagreements between people will arise. When these disagreements during the marriage cannot be reconciled, divorce is the result. Unfortunately, the divorce rate in some parts of the country is almost 50%. Of course, the partners to the marriage may not even agree that it is time to seek a divorce. When that occurs, can the person seeking a divorce get one in New Jersey if their spouse does not respond to the divorce papers? Today, let’s consider both parties’ rights and options offered by an experienced family law attorney.

divorce papers

The Timeframe for A Divorce Lawyer

So your divorce attorney said that your spouse has been properly served with divorce papers but has not responded. Can you still get a New Jersey divorce despite the lack of response? The short answer to this question is yes. Your spouse may have an issue with the allegations presented in the divorce papers or may simply not want a divorce, but that does not allow the party to block the divorce simply by failing to respond to the service of the divorce papers. The time frame given to respond to the service of divorce papers vary from state to state; the time frame allowed is usually between 20 and 60 days. In New Jersey, the spouse who was served, referred to as the respondent, is given 35 days to file an answer to the complaint.

Divorce by Default

A spouse who is not ready or willing to go forward with a divorce often may fail to respond to the service of divorce papers as a way to slow down or stop the process. If the served spouse does not respond to the divorce papers by the end of the deadline, the divorce lawyer for the petitioner can then file additional papers requesting that the petitioner is granted what is known as a “divorce by default”.  This does not result in an immediate divorce. As your divorce attorney will tell you, there are numerous factors that come into play before a court will grant a divorce by default.

Navigating This With A Divorce Attorney

A big factor affecting the possibility of the court granting a divorce by default is whether the couple has any children. Another factor the court will look at is the number of assets and liabilities that are involved. If no children are involved and the number of assets and debts are minimal the chance of getting a divorce by default is greater. Your Family Law Attorney at the Law Offices of James C. DeZao can go over these and other issues with you.

divorce papers

Consulting an Experienced New Jersey Family Law Attorney

Both parties to the marriage may agree that it is time to seek a divorce. But, there are still a plethora of legal issues that need to be properly addressed; in order to ensure that you will get the fair dissolution agreement you deserve. Consult the Family Law Attorney you can trust at the Law Offices of James C. DeZao. Our expert divorce lawyers can assist you through the whole divorce process – start to finish. So you can avoid the pitfalls and get the settlement that you deserve. Call today at (973) 358-6134 for a free consultation.