Filing for divorce is the process of submitting legal paperwork that separates you and your spouse officially. There are a few ways in which you can file for divorce. You may decide to file the paperwork yourself. Or, you may choose to work with a divorce lawyer to protect your interests throughout the process.
Whichever method you choose, here are the steps to filing for divorce in New Jersey:
Check Your Eligibility
To file for divorce in New Jersey, you must first meet a few eligibility requirements. For example, New Jersey requires you or your spouse to be a New Jersey resident for at least 12 consecutive months before filing. The state also requires that you have a permissible reason for filing the divorce.
The state does allow for both fault and no-fault divorces, which means neither spouse has to be at fault to divorce. No further criteria must be met if one spouse is at fault, such as being guilty of adultery or mental or physical abuse. However, if you and your spouse are divorcing without either person being at fault, the state does require that you and your spouse have lived in separate homes for at least the last 18 months or have irreconcilable differences.
Prepare the Paperwork
The next step toward divorcing in New Jersey is preparing the paperwork. This is the step in which working with a divorce lawyer can be helpful. A lawyer ensures that you fill out the proper paperwork accurately. A divorce in New Jersey requires a series of paperwork, including a complaint for divorce, summons, certification of insurance coverage, and certification of verification and non-collusion.
The state also requires additional paperwork based on your reason for divorce. For example, if you and your spouse cite irreconcilable differences as the cause for divorce, you’ll need to fill out form 1D. If you and your spouse have been separated for a minimum of 18 months, you may fill out form 1A. You’ll also need to include the specific issues that need to be negotiated during the divorce. A few examples of issues may include alimony, child support, child custody, or real estate ownership.
File the Divorce Paperwork
Once you fill out the divorce paperwork, you’ll need to file it with the Family Division court within your county. State laws require that you file an original and two copies of the divorce papers. Most county courts charge a filing fee, which is usually somewhere between $300-$400.
Serve the Divorce Papers
After filing the divorce papers, the courts will serve your soon-to-be ex-spouse. A sheriff is usually who will serve your ex-spouse either at home or work. If the spouse accepts the papers, the divorce process begins. In some cases, it may be difficult to serve a spouse, especially if they live out of state. This is when working with a lawyer may also be useful.
Your spouse has 35 days to answer the served paperwork. This then begins the process of financial disclosures and negotiations.
Contact a Moorestown Family Law Attorney for a Consultation About Divorce in New Jersey Today
If you are thinking about filing for divorce, or if you have already started the divorce process and are dealing with another matter such as child custody, child support, or division of assets, you need to speak with a qualified attorney. The New Jersey family law attorneys at Cordry Hartman LLC represent clients throughout the state, including Moorestown, Cherry Hill, Evesham Township, and Mount Laurel. We understand how challenging this time can be for you, which is why we will fight hard to protect your interests and the interests of your loved ones throughout the legal process. Call us at 856-452-4474 or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a consultation. We have an office conveniently located at 505 S Lenola Rd Ste 224, Moorestown, NJ 08057.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.