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What is New Jersey’s Divorce Process Like? | What to Know

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If you are getting divorced, you may be wondering what the process entails. Read on to learn more about the divorce process in New Jersey and what you can expect from the coming months.

What are New Jersey’s residency requirements?

In order to file for divorce in New Jersey, you will have to meet the residency requirements. This means that you or your spouse must have been a resident of New Jersey for at least one year prior to filing a complaint for divorce. Notably, this requirement does not apply if the plaintiff is filing on the grounds of adultery.

What are New Jersey’s grounds for divorce?

Grounds refer to the legal reason your divorce is occurring. Luckily, New Jersey is a no-fault state. This means that a couple may file for divorce citing irreconcilable differences, or after being separated for 18 months or more. However, you can also cite fault grounds:

  • Desertion
  • Addiction
  • Adultery
  • Extreme cruelty
  • Deviant sexual conduct
  • Incarceration
  • Institutionalization for mental illness

Many couples choose a no-fault divorce since it often makes the process simpler. For example, if you cite fault grounds, you will likely have to provide proof of these grounds.

What does the process entail?

The divorce process will be different for every couple depending on the matters they have to settle and how they choose to do so. However, many divorce cases will involve the following steps:

  • Case management conference
    • First, your spouse will be served with divorce papers. After this, the court can begin to address various matters regarding the divorce through a Case Management Conference. During this conference, some concerns addressed may include:
      • Contested matters of the divorce
      • Pre-trial discovery process
      • An Early Settlement Panel date
      • Selection of expert witnesses
      • Assessing whether there is a custody dispute
  • Early settlement panel
    • After the Case Management Conference, your case may be referred to the Early Settlement Panel. At an early settlement panel, a team of attorneys will provide you with recommendations regarding the outstanding matters of your divorce. If you do not accept these suggestions, you may be able to settle these issues through mediation. If mediation does not successfully resolve the outstanding issues, a judge may have to make decisions on your behalf through litigation.
  • Final judgment of divorce
    • In order to finalize a divorce, all outstanding matters must be resolved. Then, the court must execute the Final Judgment of Divorce.

If you are getting divorced in New Jersey, our firm is here to help. Reach out today to discuss your case with an experienced and dedicated divorce attorney.

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