Divorce is a difficult process, and each state handles the process differently. It’s important for spouses looking to get a divorce to contact an experienced attorney who can guide them through the complex legal process. Get the facts on the New Jersey divorce process — before, during, and after — to ensure you get the most out of this painful time.
How to File for Divorce in New Jersey
There are several steps that New Jersey residents need to take in order to file for divorce in the state, including the following:
Establish residency. At the time you file your Complaint of Divorce, you must be a “bona fide resident” of the state; this means you have resided in the state for a certain amount of time—typically 12 months. However, the governing statute N.J.S.A. 2A:34-10 does not require this residency establishment for Complaints of Divorce based on adultery.
Determine which ground you’re filing on. Grounds to file for divorce in New Jersey include, but are not limited to: separation, adultery, irreconcilable differences, abandonment, addiction, extreme cruelty, imprisonment, and institutionalization. Irreconcilable differences is typically the most common grounds for divorce. An attorney can help you determine which grounds you should file on.
File the necessary paperwork. The state of New Jersey requires you to supply several copies of the necessary forms to the County Clerk’s Office of the State Court of the county in which you or your spouse reside or work. These forms typically include a properly drafted Complaint for Divorce, an Affidavit of Verification and Non-Collusion, an Affidavit of Insurance Coverage, a Confidential Litigant Information Sheet, and the filing fee imposed by the Court. Your lawyer can help you complete and file the required forms.
Provide notice to your spouse. New Jersey law requires you to provide legal notice to your spouse once you have filed for divorce. The primary method of providing legal notice to your spouse is by having a copy of the documents handed to him or her within the State of New Jersey. If this is not possible, you may work with your attorney to serve your spouse the papers in another way.
Navigating the Divorce Process
The divorce process can be complex, and it can involve the following issues:
- Alimony/spousal support
- Child custody
- Child support
- College costs
- Domestic violence
- Enforcement of court orders
- Separation agreements
Additionally, depending on whether your divorce is contested or uncontested, the process may take longer than other cases. Due to the variables involved, it’s best for spouses going through the divorce process to contact an experienced attorney to ensure each party understands all their options and makes decisions that work best for them and any children of the marriage.
It’s unwise to attempt to complete the divorce process on your own, as issues that are not legally settled in court, including child custody, visitation rights, and child support, may develop into major problems later. A legal decision helps outline responsibilities and avoid misunderstandings and conflicts down the line.
Coping with Divorce
Some individuals may find it difficult to find motivation after a divorce. It’s important to remember that you made this decision for a reason, and if the divorce process was handled professionally and successfully, it’s likely that all parties are better off.
If you experience difficulty after the divorce has been finalized, the following tips may be helpful:
Understand that it’s okay to have conflicting feelings. A divorce is a major life event, and it’s completely normal for you to experience different emotions in its aftermath. Many people experience sadness, anger, frustration, and confusion after a divorce has been finalized.
Don’t go through the process alone. Chances are someone close to you has gone through the same process. Reach out to friends, family, or a therapist to discuss your thoughts and feelings. Don’t feel like you’re in this by yourself.
Take time to explore your interests. Igniting a new passion or interest can be a great way to clear your mind in the aftermath of a divorce.
If you have children, let them know they can rely on you. Try to stick to a schedule and follow through on promises in the aftermath of a divorce. During this difficult time, children need stability more than ever.
Thinking of Filing for Divorce? We Can Help
Hiring the right lawyer can make the divorce process easier. At DeTommaso Law Group, LLC, we have over 125 years of combined experience ready to work for you. We exclusively practice family law, and we’re well-equipped to provide the strategic and aggressive litigation services you need during this time.