New Jersey Divorce Lawyers
New Jersey Divorce Laws
It can be difficult to understand the complicated world of divorce. In order to obtain a Judgment of Divorce in New Jersey, you must first file certain documents and set forth grounds for divorce. Your divorce proceedings will then culminate in either an uncontested hearing or a contested trial. Our divorce lawyers will assist you in navigating this complex and difficult time with a unique combination of compassion and knowledge.
The Divorce Process in New Jersey
In order to get divorced, a party must file a Complaint for Divorce in the appropriate county in New Jersey. The appropriate county is determined by New Jersey Court Rule 5:2-1. A complaint for divorce must include grounds for divorce, the relief being sought, the address of both parties, the date of the marriage, and information regarding any previous family actions filed in court.
If there are children involved, the child(ren)’s name, address, and date of birth must also be included in the Complaint for Divorce. A Complaint for Divorce must be accompanied by an Affidavit of Verification and Non-Collusion, an Affidavit of Insurance Coverage, a Confidential Litigant Information Sheet, and an Affidavit of Notification of Complementary Dispute Resolution Alternatives.
Once a Complaint for Divorce is filed, the other spouse must be given proper notice and served with the Complaint for Divorce. Upon proper service of the Complaint for Divorce, the other spouse has 35 days from the date he or she was served with the Complaint for Divorce to file an Appearance, Answer or Counterclaim. If a Counterclaim for Divorce is filed, the Plaintiff has 20 days to file an Answer to Defendant’s Counterclaim.
Grounds For Divorce
Under the laws in New Jersey, one of the nine grounds for divorce must be included in your Complaint for Divorce. N.J.S.A. 2A:34-2 provides the following causes for a divorce:
- Willful and continued desertion for 12 or more months;
- Extreme cruelty;
- Separation for at least 18 months
- Voluntarily induced addiction or habituation to any narcotic drug or habitual drunkenness for 12 or more consecutive months;
- Institutionalization for mental illness for 24 or more consecutive months;
- Imprisonment of defendant for 18 or more consecutive months after the marriage;
- Deviant sexual conduct voluntarily performed by the defendant without consent or plaintiff;
- Irreconcilable differences.
Irreconcilable differences and separation for at least 18 months are New Jersey’s true no-fault grounds for divorce. Although the other grounds for divorce are considered fault grounds, the court will not take “fault” into account for purposes of calculating alimony or child support, deciding custody and parenting time or determining equitable distribution. Our team of New Jersey divorce attorneys will assist you in determine the grounds that best support the relief you are seeking.
After a matrimonial settlement agreement is agreed to by both parties, an uncontested hearing can be scheduled by the court. At the uncontested hearing, the court will hear testimony regarding the residency of the parties, the grounds for divorce, the fairness of the agreement, the voluntariness of entering into the agreement and the parties’ understanding of the terms of the agreement. If the court is satisfied that the parties entered into the agreement voluntarily, and understand the terms of the agreement, the court will issue a judgment of divorce.
Our New Jersey divorce lawyers will assist you in resolving the issues in your matter, preparing the matrimonial settlement agreement, and attend the uncontested divorce hearing with you.
When parties are unable to resolve all or some of the issues in their marriage, a contested divorce hearing is scheduled. At the contested divorce hearing, the court will hear testimony and review evidence presented on the unresolved issues of the marriage and will decide the issues for the parties. After the court reaches a decision on the issues in dispute, a Judgment of Divorce, which will include the court’s decision, will be issued.
Contact The New Jersey Divorce Lawyers at Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, O’Cathain & O’Cathain, LLC
Although our goal is to resolve your case efficiently and amicably, our New Jersey divorce attorneys have years of experience trying divorce cases. We strive to make the trial process as simple as possible while zealously advocating for you and your positions.