Contested Divorce & Litigation

Taking your divorce to court is tough, but you’ve got a champion on your side.


Going to court is sometimes necessary, especially when your spouse is not reasonable or acts in bad faith. Uncertainty is the hallmark of taking your divorce to court, but our experienced attorneys will guide you through. When you can’t avoid going to court, you need a commanding advocate on your side to defend your rights and give you the best chance for a positive outcome.

Read More

What is Divorce Litigation and when is it Necessary?

Because divorce is an emotional and complex process, there are times when the parties involved fail to reach an agreement. Divorce litigation is the legal process of dispute resolution for contested divorces in the family court system.

Divorce litigation typically becomes necessary when there is difficulty among divorcing parties to reach an agreement through an amicable process, such as mediation or collaborative divorce. Unreasonable expectations with regard to settlement terms, cases of domestice violence, and unique issues that fall outside the scope of more typical divorce proceedings may also signal the need to take your divorce to court.

What Can I Expect With Divorce Litigation?

A contested divorce bound for litigation is, by its nature, a conflictual process. Drawn out court schedules, perpetual arguements, appealed decisions, and other factors all contribute to the stress and expense of litigation. Generally speaking, the more conflict that exists between parties involved in a divorce, the longer and more expensive the process will be.

The process of divorce litigation in New Jersey is made up of a series of steps which generally adhere to both court timelines and current laws.

During the initial stage, a divorce Complaint is prepared and filed by your attorney to the court. The Complaint is then served on your spouse, after which your spouse’s attorney prepares and files an Answer. Following the Complaint/Answer period, attorneys attend a Case Management Conference with the judge, where parties involved have an opportunity to  agree to the terms or, failing that, receive court-ordered dates relative to the litigation proceedings. If child custody and/or support issues are involved with the case, parents are required to attend a parents education program and subsequent parent coordination meetings.

 The next stage in divorce litigation in New Jersey is Discovery. During Discovery, case information statements are submitted to the court, Interogatories and Notices for Demand of Documents are prepared and submitted then subsequently answered, third-pary documents are subpeonaed, depositions are conducted, and expert analyses are solicited and reviewed. A second Case Management Conference is also conducted with the judge and attorneys.

The final stage of litigation is the Settlement phase. Settlement begins with an Early Settlement Panel and the deployment of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, such as court-required mediation. If resolution is deemed possible, alternative dispute resolution will continue until a settlement is reached and trial will be avoided. If settlement is not reached, your attorneys will prepare for trial before a judge, where testimony and evidence will be weighed and a decision ultimately made by the judge.

What’s next?

The first step of the divorce process in New Jersey is for one spouse to prepare a Complaint for Divorce with their divorce attorney. As filing this Complaint with the court can impact your ability to negotiate freely with your spouse without court interference in mediation or collaborative practice, we suggest waiting until those options have been explored with your attorney.

At Keith Family Law, our attorneys are experienced in all manners of family law and can guide you through the divorce process in such a manner as to benefit you most. Our mission is to be a commanding, results-driven advocate on your behalf. We understand the complexities involved and the emotional toll of a divorce on you and your family.

If you have questions regarding your specific divorce or separation issue, or any other areas of divorce and family law, please feel free to call us for a consultation. We will provide you with individualized legal counsel with one of our experienced family lawyers.

Keith Family Law is a full service family law practice located in Westfield, New Jersey that serves clients from Union County, Essex County, Hudson County, Morris County, Hunterdon County, Somerset County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County and Warren County.

Get started today

Schedule A Refundable Fee Strategy Session!

Our Family Law Services

Divorce & Separation

We provide expert legal guidance through the entire divorce process, from a period of separation to divorce finalization.
Learn More


When matters in a divorce need to be settled in family court, our attorneys are compassionate, commanding advocates.
Learn More

Collaborative Divorce

Explore a new process of divorce that has been proven to reduce conflict, preserve families, and promote lasting marital settlement agreements.
Learn More


Our divorce mediation services provide the expert help you need in devising a settlement agreement that both parties can live with.
Learn More


Alimony can be an emotional and complex component of divorce. We can help negotiate an acceptable outcome for everyone involved.
Learn More

Child Custody

Let us guide you through the often sensitive and nuanced child custody process to ensure your child's best interests are being met.
Learn More

Child Support

Child support issues can be varied and complex. We can help you ensure the wellbeing of your child is put before anything else.
Learn More

Equitable Distribution

Get the help you need to ensure all marital assets are distributed in an equitable manner between the parties involved.
Learn More

Domestic Violence

Receive the legal assistance you need in order to get you and your children out of a domestic violence situation and into safety.
Learn More


Keep control over your divorce with an agreement reached on your schedule and tailored specifically to your needs.
Learn More


We provide individualized legal counsel to help you determine your best course of action for when you must step into someone else's shoes.
Learn More

Wills & Powers of Attorney

Eliminate any uncertainty about your wishes after you have passed on or designate someone in advance to legally handle your affairs.
Learn More

Read More

Contested Divorce in North Jersey

Contested divorce cases in North Jersey can quickly become exercises in hurt feelings and anxiety. Ensuring that your rights are protected and your voice is heard throughout the case is a must, yet it only adds to the turmoil that might linger over the entire process. Our team can help clients throughout New Jersey keep their divorce court cases under control, including the following areas:

  • Bergen County
  • Essex County
  • Hudson County
  • Somerset County
  • Middlesex County
  • Union County
  • Warren County
  • And Beyond!

Divorce Filings

As couples prepare for a contested divorce in North Jersey, understanding the complexities of the litigation process can help make the entire process more streamlined. Having an experienced voice to help you with divorce filings can help you be better prepared for what’s to come.

Filing for divorce can present couples with a viable way out of their crumbling marriage but also a protracted legal process that can take months, if not years, to resolve. With filing being the first step in the process, knowing the subsequent steps can give you the advantage throughout the duration of your hearings and litigation process.

As you finish the divorce filings, then the long and drawn-out divorce process can begin. As you start to get ready for a contested divorce in North Jersey, we can help you best prepare yourself for the upcoming divorce court case. Having a defined strategy can help you respond to the unexpected and be ready to protect your rights in a court of law.

Divorce Litigation

Divorce litigation can prove a long and complex process that takes a toll on everyone involved. As you continue to sit through court dates in Bergen County, Essex County, or Hudson County, NJ, you need to know you and your family’s best interests are kept in mind. The Keith Family Law team is ready to help our clients ensure their difficult divorce isn’t more complicated than it has to be.

Our team is well versed in the ins and outs of the divorce litigation process and can help you sift through our court hearings without being overwhelmed. It’s a complex process with emotions running high, but we take the time to meticulously prepare your case and ensure you are ready for the court dates.

A contested divorce in North Jersey requires the proper representation to help you through a divorce court case. With Keith Family Law on your side, you have an experienced attorney who knows how to navigate you through these situations. Our team has help clients throughout Somerset County, Middlesex County, and Union County, and Warren County, New Jersey, with their divorce filings, as well as the following services:

Dealing with a contested divorce in North Jersey doesn’t have to be an anxiety-filled affair that puts a strain on your entire family. With the right law firm in your corner, you can face the NJ court system head-on and know your rights will be protected. Keith Family Law will help build your case and ensure that your voice is heard, even in the most difficult divorce case.

Let’s Work Together