Acquiring a divorce in New Jersey can be a difficult and emotional process. This is especially true if you and your spouse cannot decide on the terms of the divorce, and it must be settled in court.
Due to the difficult and emotional nature of divorce, it is recommended that you retain legal services from an experienced divorce lawyer in NJ who will look out for your interests and help you get the best possible outcome.
Along with hiring a New Jersey divorce attorney to help with your case, it can be helpful to learn more about what to expect from the process.
File the Divorce Complaint
The first step in a New Jersey divorce is to file a divorce complaint. This is filed in court, and the spouse who files it is the plaintiff.
When filing this complaint, it must include both parties’ names and contact information, the date and location of the marriage, and other details. You must also include the grounds for the divorce, which can be a no-fault or fault divorce.
If you are unsure what to file, speak to an attorney who can help you fill out these documents.
The Appearance, Answer, and Counterclaim
The spouse receiving the divorce complaint must respond if they want to address any of the issues included. The receiving spouse is the defendant.
A response can include filing a general appearance or answer to the divorce complaint and counterclaims the defendant wants to file against the plaintiff. If no response is issued, then a different procedure will be followed.
File the Case Information Statement
Both parties are required to file the Case Information Statement or CIS. When you fill out the CIS, you must include all related financial information. This includes information about equitable distribution and financial support.
It is necessary to include all required information on the CIS. Since this can be complex, having an attorney help you fill out the paperwork is smart.
Settlement Agreement and Early Settlement Panel
At some point before or after filing the divorce complaint, you and your spouse attempt to settle with help from your legal counsel.
If this is impossible and the documents have been filed, the parties must participate in an Early Settlement Panel. The panel is used to talk about all the legal matters related to your divorce. It will also recommend the best way to resolve the issues.
If you and your spouse accept the recommendations made by the panel, they are binding. At this point, your divorce can be granted. However, if you do not accept the recommendations or if you cannot reach an agreement, you must move on to the next step.
If you do not agree to the recommendations made by the Early Settlement Panel and if you cannot reach an agreement when the panel occurs, you must go through Economic Mediation. This is another step to help you reach an agreement. At this point, if you agree to the terms, the divorce can be finalized; however, if you do not, you will move on to the next step.
Intensive Settlement Conference
This occurs at the courthouse. It is another step to help you reach an agreement before the trial.
If you cannot agree after all the steps above, you must move on to the trial. It is best to hire an attorney to help you with this and ensure you get the best possible results for your case.
During the trial, your attorney will present your side of the divorce complaint and provide evidence showing why you should get that outcome. The other party will do the same. At this point, the judge will decide on all the unsettled issues.
Once the trial is complete, the court will issue the Final Judgment of Divorce.
Do Not Wait to Hire an Attorney for Help with Your New Jersey Divorce
When it comes to filing for divorce in New Jersey, there are more than a few steps in the process. It can sometimes be complicated and confusing, which is why having an attorney representing your interests is so important.
We have years of experience providing representation for various family law issues. Our legal team will work to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your divorce and keep your interests and needs top of mind at all times.
Contact us today to learn more about our services and to get help with the divorce process.