Contested matters are substantially more expensive than uncontested divorces. However, one must realize that uncontested can mean that the other party either never engaged in the litigation/defaulted or after some discussion, court appearances, mediation efforts and/or motions, the parties settled by way of agreement on the financial and any custody issues. Without a default or settlement, a divorce remains uncontested and scheduled for trial. Divorce trials run up the costs associated with dissolution of any marriage. When the court schedules a default hearing, the court will divorce you from your spouse and provide you with a judgment of divorce. Additionally, if your attorney files a document with notice to the defaulting party, the court can order among other things, the division of assets(pensions, 40lK's, sale of property), award child support and award alimony.
In the state of New Jersey, alimony is based on a number of factors which include need of the requesting spouse and the ability of the other to pay. In arriving at any sum for alimony, one must also look at the income differential between the parties, the length of the marriage, the lifestyle of the marriage, who will have custody of any children and the child support award. Note that these are general guidelines. In the state of New Jersey the assets of the parties (and in some cases pre-marital assets that increased in value during the marriage) are equitably distributed between each spouse. The question is what is equitable. Each case is fact sensitive. Equitable distribution could mean 50/50 or any other ratio. An example of when you might be entitled to a pre-marital asset is as follows: Let's say the person you married owned a home before you were married. Then after you married, you and your spouse lived in that home. You now have a marital interest in that home and are entitled to a portion of the value attributable to the time you lived in that home.