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New Jersey-- Uncontested divorce, no children, no property, no assets. Can I do this without a lawyer?

Princeton Junction, NJ |

Spouse and I have decided on divorce, but not sure where to start. We got married very young and have been married less than 5 years. We have no children, no joint assets, no property.

We've divided our "stuff" and have kept separate bank accts since he moved out 9 months ago. He now lives cross-country and I am stuck doing all of the work to secure the divorce; thought it would be easier since we don't have any joint assets and we aren't cutthroat about anything.

Neither of us make very much money and I don't really want to foot the bill for a lawyer (and given the situation it seems unnecessary) but I have no idea how to do this. He won't be able to appear in court (which seems to be a necessity in NJ??) as he is living hundreds of miles away.

All advice welcome. Thanks!

Attorney Answers 4


Since you are emotionally involved in this situation and not an attorney, you need to retain an attorney to represent you. Unless you can fully understand and realize the full significance of what this is all about, you may be making a big mistake. Goo luck.

If you found this Answer helpful, please mark it as "Best Answer" Please be advised that the answer above is only general in nature cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. It is your responsibility to retain a lawyer to analyze the facts specific to your particular situation in order to give you specific advice. Specific answers will require cognizance of all pertinent facts about your case. Any answers offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship.

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Go to and look for forms to file a Complaint for a Divorce. Also look for instructions on how to serve the filed Complaint on your husband. If he is properly served and does not file an Answer within 35 days, you can get a default divorce, he does not need to appear in court.

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I agree with Risa's response.

Answered 4 years ago. I don't recommend "divorce source", although they're not as bad as "The Divorce Center." I had to "fix" three cases from them where the person took a serious financial hit because of errors in the paperwork.

It actually frustrated me to the point where I decided to start my own website for people with "no issues" looking to dissolve a "starter marriage" (no kids, no property, no support) . (This is really the only time any sort of "do it yourself" kit should be used, you are permanently giving up rights when you divorce; it needs to be done right and you need to know what your rights are).

Anyway, if an attorney files the divorce, she/he can have you complete an affidavit and, in almost all cases, you can avoid the physical court appearance (judges have discretion on requiring people to come in, but only about 10% of them require it at this point).

IF YOU LIKE THIS ANSWER AND APPRECIATE THE TIME IT TOOK TO WRITE IT, PLEASE SELECT IT AS "BEST ANSWER." Thanks. The above is said without seeing your case file and without my understanding the entirety of the facts of your case. Depending on those facts, the above information be may incomplete or may be completely inaccurate. The above is intended as general information only based on what you described and not as legal advice. I advise you to consult with counsel who may be able to provide better information commensurate with a better understanding of your situation.

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If this truly is an uncontested divorce, i.e. there is no property or accounts to distribute, no claims for support or counsel fees and no custody issues, then you may proceed with an uncontested divorce whereby you file the complaint and the other party voluntarily defaults. Then the defaulting party does not need to appear in court. However, it is still important that you discuss the specifics of your case with an experienced matrimonial attorney. Often times what one believes will be a relatively simple and straightforward divorce with no contested issues can turn out to be far more complicated as the litigation goes on and unforeseen issues develop. It is therefore important that you speak to an experienced matrimonial attorney to learn what your rights are, how to file for a divorce and what to expect in court.

Additionally, below are links to articles and information that may assist you with your case.

Please mark as "Helpful" or "Best Answer" if our advice helped you. This information is based upon the limited facts you presented. My advice is based on New Jersey law and may be different if I find that the facts presented are different. Additionally, this answer does not contain any confidential information nor does it create any attorney/client relationship.

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