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Notice of Proposed Judgment - As an Alternative to a Property Settlement Agreement - The Process of a Default Divorce

Jul 28, 2015 @ 07:48 PM — by Michael Green

A Notice of Proposed Judgment of Divorce is a necessary part of the process in a default divorce where the other party is not signing a property or matrimonial settlement agreement and there are issues of child custody, child support, alimony or spousal support and equitable distribution that must be dealt with as part of the divorce.  A Notice of Proposed Judgment is form of the Final Judgment of Divorce that gives the other party notice of the terms of divorce that the plaintiff is seeking at the final hearing for divorce in the final judgment of divorce.  If you are considering a default divorce, call us now at 732-390-0480 in our East Brunswick office or 201-242-1119 in our Fort Lee office to schedule your free consultation.  Night and weekend appointments are available.

There may be a number of reasons why a Notice of Proposed Judgment of Divorce is used in a divorce process.  Typically, this is a default divorce where the other party has not answered the complaint within the 35 day period after they have been served with the complaint.  It is not a situation where the other party cannot be served and where publication notice is used to accomplish service in lieu of personal service that is generally required by the Courts in a default proceeding.  

If the defendant in the divorce is acting in a passive-aggressive manner and does not choose to respond in any manner to the divorce, and does not seek to sign a Property or Matrimonial Settlement Agreement, the plaintiff may have no choice but serve the defendant with the Notice of Proposed Judgment of Divorce.  The NPJD must be served twenty days prior to the scheduled divorce hearing.  So, if the defendant is unwilling or has not signed the Property Settlement Agreement with all the terms of your divorce twenty days prior to the default hearing date for the divorce, the defendant must be served the NPJD immediately.  Otherwise, the default hearing date will have to be adjourned to another date, and the defendant will have to be served the NPJD yet again.

Generally, the NPJD must include all terms of the divorce.  The plaintiff must file a Case Information Statement or CIS in advance of the hearing and include that with service of the NPJD, so that the Court considers the defendant to have been put on notice of all the terms of the divorce and what the Plaintiff alleges is the financial standing of the parties as well.  In that way, the Court is more likely to be able to consider all of the issues at hand when it determines whether or not to sign off on the Final Judgment of Divorce with the terms of the NPJD.

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