Our New Jersey divorce lawyer is dedicated to helping those going through a divorce and similar matrimonial issues. We aim to provide each client with competent legal services while maintaining a high level of professionalism.
Hiring our legal team means you have access to experienced attorneys who understand the pressure and stress involved with this complex, life-changing event. We will work as your advocate to address all the legal and personal concerns you may have related to the divorce process.
How We Can Help with Your Neptune, New Jersey Divorce
We understand that you do not enter your marriage with the intention of divorcing. Even in the best situations, the process can be difficult and emotional. If your case involves contested issues, like child custody, it is not unusual for the divorce process to become hostile and expensive.
Divorce often involves emotional distress and high stakes, so having an experienced New Jersey divorce lawyer on your side is invaluable. We will fight for fair results and work tirelessly to protect your interests. Our legal firm understands that the results of a divorce case can have long-term effects on an entire family.
When you hire us to help with your New Jersey divorce, some of the services we offer include the following:
- Help to make difficult decisions;
- Work toward amicable resolutions using alternative dispute resolution;
- Provide empathetic support through all stages of your divorce;
- Commit the time and resources needed to ensure you achieve your goals; and
- Present a persuasive case in court to help you achieve the desired outcomes for child support, child custody, and asset division.
Understanding the NJ Divorce Process
Are you thinking about divorce? If so, knowing the steps involved may be beneficial.
In most New Jersey counties, the person filing for an uncontested divorce must make at least one appearance in court. However, multiple court appearances in court will likely be required for contested divorce filings.
For a contested divorce, which is one where you and your spouse do not agree on major issues, the following steps will be followed:
Filing Your Divorce Complaint
You start the divorce proceedings by submitting the divorce paperwork to the court. This is the official divorce complaint and includes the grounds for filing for divorce based on fault or no-fault. The spouse who files the divorce papers is the “plaintiff.”
Response to the Complaint
The defendant in the case (the spouse who did not file) is then served the divorce complaint. They can respond to the divorce complaint, allowing them to let the court know about potential issues. If needed, the response may include filing an answer, a general appearance, or a counterclaim.
If the spouse fails to respond to the divorce complaint, then a different process will be used.
File the Case Information Statement
Both parties must file the Case Information Statement (CIS). This document includes all financial information and is used for asset distribution and support decisions.
Reach a Settlement Agreement for the Divorce
When divorcing, it is best to try to reach a settlement agreement with your spouse. You can seek help from your attorney, and they will create the settlement agreement if you can reach an agreement.
Not all cases are settled this way. In some situations, you will not be able to agree with your spouse about all the issues involved in your divorce. If this is the case, you must participate in an Early Settlement Panel. This is a panel of family law attorneys who will work to help resolve any remaining disagreements.
If you and your spouse do not accept the panel’s recommendations, you must participate in Economic Mediation. The next step in the process is the Intensive Settlement Conference that occurs at the courthouse.
If you move through each step and still have not reached an agreement, your divorce case will go to trial. At trial, the judge may order property appraisals before proceeding. If this happens, it can take several months for your case even to be heard.
When a judge hears your case, the judge will make final decisions regarding any disputed issues. Once the trial is complete, the Final Judgement of Divorce is issued. At this point, your divorce is finalized.
The Process for Filing an Uncontested Divorce in New Jersey
Filing a contested divorce in New Jersey involves many steps. It can drag on for months or longer.
An uncontested divorce, on the other hand, is much simpler.
With this, a complaint for divorce is filed with the court, and a docket number is assigned within a few weeks. Your spouse will be served with the divorce papers; if they accept, the papers can be notarized and filed with the court.
The court must review the documents and will then provide a Notice of Court Date. When the date arrives, the court will rule on the divorce complaint and finalize it on the same day.
For most people, uncontested divorces are faster and much more affordable.
Common Questions about the New Jersey Divorce Process
We will help answer any questions you have about hiring a New Jersey divorce lawyer, as well as any of the questions specific to your divorce. Additionally, we have also answered some of the most common questions we are asked here.
What is the difference between a contested and uncontested divorce?
If you and your spouse agree on all the divorce-related issues, you can file for an uncontested divorce. However, if you do not agree on all the main issues, then it will be a contested divorce.
For contested divorces, it is necessary to follow the steps to try and resolve disagreements before going to trial, as this is the last resort.
Is New Jersey a no-fault divorce state?
New Jersey provides couples with several causes of action to file for divorce. There are two grounds of action for a no-fault divorce, and with fault divorce, there are seven.
In a no-fault divorce, it means you have irreconcilable differences or have separated. To file this, you and your spouse must have lived apart for 18 months or longer with no possibility of reconciliation.
Fault-based divorces are not common but include imprisonment, extreme cruelty, and adultery. You must prove the claimed element if you are filing a fault-based divorce.
Does New Jersey have residency requirements to file for divorce?
Yes, there is a residency requirement to file for divorce in New Jersey. You or your spouse must have consistently lived in the state for a minimum of one year (12 months) before you can file. The exception to this is in adultery-based fault divorce filings if at least one spouse resides in the state.
How is property divided in a New Jersey divorce?
An equitable distribution concept is used for dividing assets in a New Jersey divorce. This does not mean that the property division is equal but fair. Sometimes, it does not come out to a 50-50 split.
Contact Our Divorce Law Firm in Neptune for Assistance
If you are looking to file, our legal team is here to help. Contact our office to set up an initial consultation with an experienced New Jersey divorce lawyer. We can provide help and guidance at each step of the legal process.