HOW TO APPROACH A DIVORCE IN NEW JERSEY? A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE
Divorce eligibility is almost the same across the US and New Jersey is no exception. Residency criteria, grounds for divorce, marital property distribution, child custody, support and visitation, alimony, etc. are similar. Marriage dissolution helps achieve two aspects – ending the matrimonial bond and two, diving the assets and liabilities. The alimony issue arises when the provider spouse has to support the dependent spouse. When there are minor kids involved, custody issues crop up. Let us get into the details of Divorce in New Jersey.
The process by which a lawfully wedded couple parts ways for good is described as a divorce in New Jersey laws. A marital breakup is legalized only after a significant number of legal procedures. The divorce records in New Jersey register a significant number of marriage dissolution lawsuits every year. Knowing this well, the attorneys at the Law Offices of SRIS, P.C. has been providing effective legal services to the public for a long time. Our attorneys can assist clients in filing for divorce in New Jersey. The lawyers at our office can also provide clarifications for the query What is the divorce law in New Jersey? But how much does a divorce lawyer cost in New Jersey? The average cost of separation lawyers can be several hundred dollars. But our Atlantic City New Jersey divorce lawyers charge fair and affordable prices to make professional legal guidance accessible to people coming from all walks of life. Call us today for divorce in the state of New Jersey.
Types of divorce in New Jersey
A divorce in New Jersey can either be contested or non-contested. When spouses arrive at a mutual consensus and decide to separate unanimously, they are expected to go through an uncontested divorce in New Jersey. But when the marital partners are unable to arrive at a unanimous post-separation settlement agreement, they are pushed to go through a contested divorce in New Jersey.
Several couples desire to stay away from the complex legal procedures since the environment of a court may seem unappealing to them. In these cases, they can very well go with an uncontested divorce in New Jersey since the same is simple and less complex when compared to contested separations.
But divorce in New Jersey can also be either of the following kinds.
- Fault-based divorce in New Jersey
- No-fault divorce New Jersey
A fault-based divorce in New Jersey is initiated when one or both parties are at fault. This kind of divorce in New Jersey is solely based on the grounds underlaid in family law.
What are the grounds for divorce in New Jersey?
The following are some of the grounds for a divorce in New Jersey:
- Adultery – Engaging in a physical, romantic, or emotional relationship with a third-party outside marriage is prohibited and the same clause can be used as a valid ground for a divorce in New Jersey. As per the laws in New Jersey, adultery is a punishable offense.
- Cruelty – Individuals, who are harmed, hurt, harassed, or molested by their marriage partners, are lawfully eligible for a divorce in New Jersey.
- Desertion – Spouses, who are deserted for a specific period by their partners, are qualified to apply for a divorce in New Jersey.
- Concealment of crucial information – The concealment of crucial details like sexual incapability, presence of venereal or communicable diseases, prior marriages or criminal records in the past, etc. is also deemed unlawful. In this case, the victimized spouse is eligible for divorce in New Jersey.
A fault-based divorce in New Jersey would witness court trials during which the plaintiff is expected to establish and prove the grounds of separation with the help of an attorney.
Is New Jersey a no fault divorce state?
All no-fault separations are regulated by the New Jersey no fault divorce law. In a no-fault-based divorce in New Jersey, the spouses collectively come to a settlement and mutually agree to the terms of the separation. A New Jersey no fault state divorce takes a lesser period when compared to other forms of separation.
A no-fault-based divorce in New Jersey commonly occurs in any following circumstances.
- If the couple has lived separately for a consecutive duration of 18 months or more.
- If the couple held irreconcilable differences for a minimum duration of 6 months.
The period of discovery
The divorce laws in New Jersey are complex and intricate. These laws acknowledge a definite set of instructions for a couple, who desires to go through the process in New Jersey. The spouses will be required to make a lot of life-changing decisions. They will be entitled to engage in serious talks with their children as well. Some of them decide to go about with their official separations with the help of the best divorce lawyers in New Jersey. The lawyers at the Law Offices of SRIS, P.C. can provide access to the most competent divorce lawyers in New Jersey. Our lawyer in New Jersey begins working on a case soon after being hired by a couple or a separation-seeking marital party.
The most important responsibility of an attorney in New Jersey is to gather and document the information of the parties involved in the lawsuit. The New Jersey divorce lawyers can provide relevant and comprehensive legal support only when they have a deep understanding of the case and the requirements of each spouse, we make an extra effort to deeply recognize our client’s needs.
Marital wealth is entitled to undergo equitable divisions as per the divorce laws in New Jersey. The assets, accumulated wealth, monthly incomes, credits/debts/loans, business interests, retirement benefits, and all other monetary provisions are scrutinized and assessed by our divorce attorneys in New Jersey. This period, during which our New Jersey divorce attorneys focus on gathering and documenting the details required for the case, is called the period of discovery. This process is completed within a maximum of 120 days. But complex and high-end divorce cases take a longer period for executing this procedure.
The divorce law in New Jersey instructs lawyers to prepare the following set of paperwork during the period of discovery.
Case information sheet
This sheet includes the following details:
- Name and date of birth of both the spouses
- The name and date of birth of the kids of the couple (if any)
- The residential address of the couple or the individual residential addresses of the spouses if they live separately
- The employment information of each spouse
- The social security number of each marital party
- The assets and properties owned by each spouse
- The income of each matrimonial party
- The debts and loans obtained by the couple collectively and the same acquired by the spouses individually
Along with the information mentioned above, our divorce attorneys in New Jersey would ask the spouses to individually submit a monthly estimate of their potential expenses and financial requirements.
The divorce law in New Jersey recognizes this case information sheet as the most fundamental requirement of a lawsuit.
Statements obtained by cross-interrogation
If the spouses hire individual divorce lawyers for personal legal assistance, the lawyers would question the opposite party for testimonies and written evidences. The New Jersey divorce laws instruct the lawyers to initiate these interrogatory sessions only after administering an oath.
The New Jersey divorce laws would instruct the judges to look into the bank statements, income tax returns, business records, salary slips, insurance papers, and other financial documents of both spouses to get an idea about their financial status and capability. Therefore, the attorneys would request the client to submit the previously mentioned documents.
The parties of separation and their lawyers can require a sworn-in written or oral testimony of the opposite party, witnesses, and experts. The reason behind these depositions should have nothing to do with the grounds mentioned by the couple for the sought separation.
Request to allow admissions
Either of the party can put forth a set of written queries to the opposite party to request the latter to admit or refuse several facts.
Other collateral requirements
The laws in New Jersey instruct the parties of the separation to submit all details related to their financial commitments and accumulated wealth. Therefore, the lawyers also tend to carry out business evaluations, forensic accountant assessments, real estate evaluations, psychological examinations, etc. during this period of discovery.
An effective, comprehensive, and legitimate divorce agreement can never be prepared even while working with the best divorce lawyer in New Jersey when they have access to little or no information.
The following explains how to file for divorce in new jersey under the New Jersey divorce statutes.
Can a person apply for an uncontested divorce in New Jersey?
Our New Jersey uncontested divorce lawyer can assist in guiding couples toward successful marriage dissolutions. Couples, who have decided to part ways for good, are often confused about how to file for divorce in New Jersey. A New Jersey litigation begins when one or both spouses initiate to work on their residential eligibility requirements of a separation.
A couple can proceed with an uncontested divorce in New Jersey provided either of the spouses is a resident of the state for a consecutive period of at least 12 months before the date at which the separation papers are filed. Additionally, this kind of divorce in New Jersey does not pressure either of the spouses to prove that the other is guilty of any wrongdoing. Here, the married parties unanimously state that they are no longer interested to stay in matrimony.
This 12-month residential requirement is waived off for a divorce in New Jersey that is specifically filed on the grounds of adultery. If the couple state that extramarital relationship is the grounds for separation, the court checks whether either of them is presently a resident of the state. In this case, the state jurisdiction does not have to mandatorily wait for either of the marital partners to fulfill this 1-year residential requirement.
The state courts allow several exemptions for a couple, who is bonded by the terms of a domestic partnership or civil union that was registered in New Jersey but is currently living elsewhere (out of New Jersey). During these circumstances, the couple can register for marriage dissolution at the courts of New Jersey. They will not be able to make official settlements regarding child support/custody, alimony, property division, etc. But they will be required to be physically present in the state courts of New Jersey to finalize the provisions of dissolution.
Filing of paperwork
The processing of an uncontested divorce in New Jersey begins when one of the marriage partners lodge a complaint for divorce at the family court. The family court specifically deals with divorces in New Jersey. The plaintiff should indicate that the divorce in New Jersey is uncontested in the initially submitted paperwork. The partners requesting dissolution submit several application forms.
Specifically, the petitioner will be required to present the contact information of their spouses to prepare the documents required for the summoning procedures. The New Jersey divorce papers can be submitted both online or offline. The New Jersey uncontested divorce papers have to be submitted to the family court. The plaintiff can either personally drop the completed paperwork at the court or transfer the attested soft copies of the same through an email. If a couple lacks the required funds to execute these preliminary filing procedures of an uncontested divorce in New Jersey, they can request the court to waive the charges.
The plaintiff of the uncontested divorce New Jersey will be initially required to submit a sum of $300 as a filing fee. Moreover, the defendant has to pay a sum of $150 while making an appearance to the summons. In case the defendant fails to respond to the received summons within a specified time limit, the petitioner will get a divorce in New Jersey by default.
The state legislation has come up with an online resource that offers access to all forms and documents required for a non-disputed divorce in New Jersey. This can be accessed by paying a sum of $25.
The following are some of the documents that are necessarily required for preparing the paperwork for uncontested divorce in New Jersey:
- Complaint for divorce
- The summons issued for requesting the presence of the defendant
- A confidentially prepared litigation information sheet
- Certificates for the plaintiffs, who have opted to go with self-representations
- The jointly concluded alternatives for dispute resolution
- Certificates containing the personal identifiers of the plaintiff and defendant in writing
- Insurance coverage documents
What happens after submitting documents?
Post submission of the documents, the court approves of the paperwork, following which the defendant is served with a summons under the name of the plaintiff. This summoning process of an uncontested divorce in New Jersey is carried out either with the assistance of a sheriff or a court-appointed professional process server, who delivers the required papers to the summoned spouse.
If the defendant decides to accept the received summons, the procedures of the uncontested divorce in New Jersey are likely to be executed with ease. The defendant will be expected to mandatorily file a response to the summons at the court and eventually pay a certain amount as court fees. In the case of an uncontested divorce in New Jersey, this response will be in the form of an appearance of the defendant, who therefrom claims to have no issues with the requested separation.
The procedures of an uncontested divorce in New Jersey may seem simple and easy from the surface, but the pressures of handling the legal and emotional aspects of separation can heavily burden the parting couple. It would be wise to consult our divorce attorney at the Law Offices of SRIS, P.C. while applying for uncontested divorce in New Jersey.
The significance of a joint settlement agreement
Once the necessary paperwork of the uncontested divorce in New Jersey is submitted at the court, the couple should work towards documenting a joint settlement agreement.
A joint settlement agreement of an uncontested divorce in New Jersey would elaborate on the following aspects:
- Child custody arrangements and parenting schedules (in case of under-aged children) of each parent.
- The financial contribution of the spouses after the termination of the marriage for supporting the development and growth of the kid.
- The spousal support payment provider to ensure the dependent spouse is able to lead a normal life post-divorce.
- Equitable partitioning of the wealth and assets accumulated during the period of marriage.
- Dividing the debts and loans acquired by the spouses collectively during the period of marriage.
The marital partners choosing to go for an uncontested divorce in New Jersey, are likely to come up with the terms of the settlement agreement. If the couples require external professional assistance, they can hire qualified mediators, counselors, ex-judges, financial experts, or knowledgeable and neutral third parties to help them with finalizing their settlement terms.
The processing of an uncontested divorce in New Jersey
An uncontested divorce in New Jersey is easily the simplest form of marital termination. But how long does an uncontested divorce take in New Jersey? An uncontested divorce in New Jersey usually takes a few months for final approval. But the processing of an uncontested divorce in New Jersey can be made easy by pursuing several tips. The couple can voluntarily live separately for at least 18 months before submitting the paperwork for an uncontested divorce in New Jersey to quicken legal procedures.
Another useful tip to fasten the filing of a non-disputed divorce in New Jersey is to lodge the separation papers on the grounds of ‘irreconcilable differences. In this case, the couples have to establish that their marriages have been falling apart for a minimum of 6 months. This period of 6 months should be completed before the registration of the separation. If the marriage partners decide to follow this means of approach, their divorce in New Jersey can potentially be legalized soon after the joint settlement agreement is submitted and approved by the court. But a regular divorce in New Jersey usually takes 3-6 months for an official conclusion.
An uncontested divorce in New Jersey is not mandatorily heard and tried by a judge in all cases. If the required paperwork is rightly submitted at the court and the spouses have collectively drafted a settlement agreement, they can present a self-written petition for divorce in New Jersey legalized without making it to the state courts.
If the submitted documents are legitimate and found to be in order, it is transferred to a judge within 5-6 days. If the judge is satisfied with the terms of the paperwork, the requested divorce in New Jersey is finalized and intimation is sent to the concerned parties through mail or post. But if the judge identifies a missing document or an incorrectly drafted settlement agreement, an intimation notice is sent to the marital partners. This notice elaborates on why the submitted paperwork was considered inadequate or incorrect. If the notified errors are not rectified within 10 days, the court would schedule a separate hearing. It is essential to check the correctness of the prepared paperwork to quicken the processing of the desired divorce in New Jersey. Our attorneys can help with gathering, validating, and submitting the necessary documents for a non-disputed divorce in New Jersey. Visit our divorce attorney New Jersey to learn in detail about the marriage laws of the state.
The cost of a uncontested divorce in New Jersey
The cost of acquiring uncontested divorce in New Jersey is calculated in various ways. Apart from the attorney fee, filing fee is also calculated. In an uncontested case, couples prefer to split this amount equally, while some leave it to the petitioning spouse to handle the expenses. Couples applying for an uncontested divorce in New Jersey without the assistance of a lawyer need to pay only the court fee and other filing charges. If circumstances demand a couple to hire a lawyer or at least meet up with an attorney for legal consultations to deal with their divorce in New Jersey, the attorney consultation fee is also added. Despite DIY provisions available to file dissolution, the support of a New Jersey divorce lawyer can simplify.
The following issues for a couple looking for divorce in New Jersey:
- Complex financial commitments
- Child custody and parenting issues
- Division of retirement benefits
The Law Offices of SRIS, P.C. is known for its relentless and committed legal services. Our lawyers have aided a large number of couples in obtaining divorce in New Jersey. Our firm is a haven for couples looking for professional divorce in New Jersey.
How to resolve conflicts in a divorce in New Jersey?
Unlike in the case of an uncontested separation, a contested divorce in New Jersey is known to witness heavy arguments and never-ending conflicts. Our divorce lawyer New Jersey from the Law Offices of SRIS, P.C. can provide several tips to settle opinion-related differences between spouses, who are likely to go through a disputed divorce in New Jersey.
- Realizing and making peace with the truth
Marriages fall apart when spouses turn dissatisfied with the behavior and characteristics of their partners. Things get scorched up when there is no adjustment between the couple. If the married couple decides to get a divorce in New Jersey, they should avoid fighting over the attitude of the at-fault spouse; instead focus on the future of their kids.
- Neglecting to respond to texts and warnings on social media
When couples decide to separate, they are likely to exchange angry textual messages. Some blow up the issue out of proposition and begin to post messages attacking the other spouse on social media. But these activities are likely to aggravate the situation to a great extent. It is wise to avoid responding to threats and taunts received from a spouse while preparing for a divorce in New Jersey. The immature threats would probably put the other spouse in a bad light and the same is condemned firmly during court hearings. In this case, the court would majorly announce judgments in favor of the spouses, who were threatened, taunted, or humiliated on social media by their partners.
- Forego the thought of seeking revenge
Divorce in New Jersey is itself a tiring process and the idea of getting back at a spouse, who has been responsible for the present state of affairs, is even more exhausting. If in the middle of a divorce in New Jersey, one of the spouses falsely identifies the other as the reason behind the failure of the marriage, the latter is advised to stay away from seeking revenge. The falsely alleged spouses should take the high road and stay focused on acquiring the divorce New Jersey to free themselves from their toxic partners once and for all. The court is entitled to see the victimized spouses in a good light and recognize their efforts for staying calm and mature even during difficult times.
- Be accountable and embrace personal responsibilities
A New Jersey divorce is processed and approved within a maximum of 6-7 months. Use this time to reflect on and resolve personal issues. It takes little to no time to point fingers at and blame the other spouse for the failure of the marriage, but none of the parties get benefitted from these baseless accusations. Our New Jersey divorce attorney would advise parting couples to use their time in looking for alternatives to improve their emotional, physical, and financial stability after separation.
A marital breakup does not mean the very end of life and personal happiness altogether. It just signifies the end of a chapter, but a new chapter is bound to begin. Our divorce lawyer Bergen County New Jersey would advise individuals to look into life post-divorce and start afresh a new phase in life. This new beginning is likely to start with a few ups and downs but it is bound to get better soon.
Our divorce lawyers New Jersey would encourage divorced spouses to pursue the following tips:
- Divorced partners can rebuild their relationships with their children.
- Reconnect and meet up with old acquaintances.
- Focus on pursuing desired academic courses.
- Focus on improving professional qualifications.
- Travel and explore the world with loved ones.
New Jersey divorce FAQ
The following are some of the frequently asked questions about New Jersey divorce process.
Is New Jersey a 50 : 50 divorce state?
The New Jersey divorce laws property division states that the marital assets of a couple would undergo equitable distribution at the time of marriage dissolution. In simple contexts, New Jersey divorce laws equitable distribution is defined as the process by which the jointly accumulated properties of a couple are divided fairly between the spouses. The processed partitioning may not be equal at all times. The state of New Jersey divorce records classifies assets that are considered for division during a divorce under 3 categories.
The following are recognized as separate assets.
- Properties purchased by a spouse before the date of marriage
- Assets gifted to or inherited by a spouse
- Properties purchased using personal income or under the titles of marital partner after marriage.
All assets that were jointly purchased by the couple during the period of marriage are called marital assets. The appliances and vehicles that are present in the marital homes of parting couples are also acknowledged as marital properties.
Separate properties that increased in market value due to the combined efforts and maintenance of both the marriage parties are classified as hybrid properties.
Is New Jersey a no fault state divorce?
The recent development of the state family law has rendered an appropriate answer to the question ‘Is New Jersey a no fault state for divorce?’ The state now allows no-fault separations that are filed on the grounds of irreconcilable differences between marriage partners. But the state can never be purely regarded as a state for no-fault divorce.
What is a bed and board divorce in New Jersey?
Several religions and communities still frown over the provision of a divorce. Bed and board marital split-ups emerged into the legal system of New Jersey when marriage dissolutions were influenced by a social stigma. Married couples of the state can apply for a bed and board divorce by stating grounds that are also applicable to a regular matrimonial termination. In this case, both the marital parties are required to provide verbal or written consent stating that they are fine with going through the legal procedures of a bed and board divorce. But the major difference between a bed-and-board divorce and an ordinary marital breakup is the fact that couples remain married legally and technically in the case of the former. In simple contexts, spouses approving of bed-and-board divorce, remain wedded on the papers but live separately.
However, the spouses can never remarry or engage in a romantic or physical relationship with a third party without converting the presently effective bed-and-board divorce to an absolute divorce. This conversion process is simple and less taxing. But the couple will be required to submit additional paperwork and pay additional fees for the final approval of the requested regular divorce.
Matrimonial partners, who decide to live together after the approval of the bed and board divorce, can place requests for the revocation or cancellation of the passed judgment. But this is not the same in the case of regular divorces. Divorced spouses will be required to remarry if they find love and happiness together again.
Like in the case of ordinary divorces, a couple going through a bed-and-board divorce can also apply for an equitable partitioning of the marital properties. An attorney’s expert opinion will certainly guide you through the process.
Annulment Vs divorce New Jersey – What makes these different from each other?
The major difference between an annulment and a divorce is the aspect of the validity of a marriage. Annulment is defined as the termination of a marriage that is never valid or legal in the first place. But in the case of a divorce, the parties would have undergone a valid and legal marriage that eventually fell apart due to various reasons.
An annulment can be initiated in the following circumstances:
- Bigamy or Polygamy – If spouses find out that their partners were previously wedded to one or more individuals before their marriage, they are eligible to get their marriages annulled.
- Consent – If a marital party was forced, pressured, or threatened by the other partner to enter into wedlock, the former is qualified to apply for an annulment.
- Forgery – If one of the spouses used fraudulent means of practice like the misinterpretation of information, concealment of crucial details, etc. to marry the other, the latter is eligible to get the performed matrimony annulled.
- Unlawful matrimonies – If the said marriage is considered unlawful as per the terms stated under the state marriage law, the court approves the annulment of the same on account of illegality. For instance, if the married partners are found to be associated with each other through close familial relationships, the court can annul the performed marriage based on incestuous grounds. Additionally, if one or both parties of the marriage are found to be under-aged, the performed marriage can easily be annulled.
- Mental issues – If one of the spouses was mentally unstable at the time of marriage, the court could approve the annulment of the performed marriage.
- Mental incapability – If one or both marital parties were intoxicated at the time of marriage as a result of which they lost their ability to offer voluntary and conscious consent for the said matrimony, the marital parties can apply for an annulment.
- Impotency – If one of the spouses is unable to engage in an active sexual relationship with the other, the latter is qualified to file for an annulment.
Separation Vs divorce New Jersey – What makes these different from each other?
In a legal separation, the spouses are granted a court order that allows them to live under separate roofs while still being married to each other. But in a divorce, the marriage in consideration is officially terminated and the parties involved are no longer married to each other. In the case of legal separation, a couple is free to reconcile even after being approved of a Separation Order if circumstances seem fit and favorable. But the aspect of reconciliation is unacceptable in a divorce. To get to know more about this, connect with an attorney right away.
How are online divorces processed?
In these cases, the married partners are not purely required to submit all documents at the court through digital mediums since the entire process is carried out using a divorce preparation service that makes filing procedures hassle-free, less time-consuming, and affordable. Individuals need not have to worry about the security of the information that is uploaded on these online mediums, since the service ensures that the clients do not file or present documents unless and until they pay a visit to the court to initiate and conclude the lawsuit.
The following is a guide to completing the registration process:
- Initially, the individuals will be required to create a personal account with the service they claim to be fit and reliable by submitting a few required personal details and contact information.
- Fill in the application forms rightly to ensure the acceptance of the submitted paperwork.
- Enclose all requisite details like information about properties, child custody, alimony, grounds for the desired separation, etc.
- The service now generates the completed application form in the desired format. This completion process approximately takes two days. The received form should then be filed at the court.
Visit The Law Offices of SRIS, P.C. to connect with our lawyers in New Jersey. We work towards a speedy divorce. Our services are foolproof and will keep you away from future conflicts. We have represented clients from different counties in New Jersey so we have the expertise. Call or visit us for a smooth and hassle-free dissolution and we will sort out all your issues at the earliest.