Divorce is becoming increasingly common. While it is something many couples and families face, it can be a difficult path to go down. You and your spouse may agree on a divorce, but have difficulty agreeing on other important issues, such as child custody and division of assets. That is why it is necessary to become knowledgable about the process and find the right legal support for your case. Read on to learn more about New Jersey’s divorce process.
New Jersey’s State Requirements
If you wish to file for divorce in New Jersey, you or your spouse must have been a New Jersey resident for at least one year before filing. If you are filing on the grounds of adultery, this requirement does not apply.
New Jersey’s Grounds for Divorce
New Jersey is a no-fault state. This means a couple can file for divorce by citing irreconcilable differences or separation for more than 18 months, rather than a more specific ground. Most NJ couples choose to file on the grounds of irreconcilable differences, but you may file on any of the following fault grounds:
- Extreme cruelty
- Deviant sexual conduct
- Institutionalization for mental illness
Possible Steps of the Process
- Case Management Conference
- At the Case Management Conference, a judge will examine all divorce-related matters. Some possible issues examined by the judge may include selection of expert witnesses, child custody disputes, and any contested issues in your divorce. A judge may also decide to expedite your divorce.
- Early Settlement Panel
- At the Early Settlement Panel, you will be advised by several knowledgeable attorneys on the outstanding matters of your divorce. You and your spouse do not have to take this advice. If you choose not to take the advice, you may work out the remaining contested matters through mediation or litigation.
- Possible mediation or litigation
- You may work out any outstanding matters of divorce through mediation or litigation. Mediation is an attempt to settle the case without going to court. A third party mediator will help you and your spouse discuss the case and try to find a solution both parties agree on. The other option is litigation. You may take your case to trial, and have a judge decide on the outstanding matters, ruling in an equitable way. If your divorce is litigated, you or your spouse may appeal the judge’s decisions.
- Final Judgement of Divorce
- Once all outstanding matters are resolved, the court must execute the Final Judgement of Divorce. This finalizes your divorce.
Contact our Firm
Ross and Calandrillo, LLC is a full-service divorce, family, and real estate law firm located in Mountainside, New Jersey. For strong legal representation in all of your divorce or family law matters, contact Ross and Calandrillo, LLC to schedule a consultation.