How Divorce Works In New Jersey
The New Jersey divorce process gives divorcing couples the option of either a fault divorce or a no fault divorce. In a fault divorce, one spouse alleges wrongdoing on the part of the other spouse in the initial divorce form known as the divorce complaint, and then they must prove that wrongdoing in court. In a no fault divorce, both parties indicate that they mutually agree to end the marriage in the initial divorce documents. If a couple opts for filing a no fault divorce, they can expect to have a much simpler and less costly divorce case.
Divorcing couples can also choose between a contested divorce or an uncontested divorce in New Jersey, depending on whether or not they agree on issues like child support, child custody, alimony, and the division of marital assets. Contested divorce is much more costly and time-consuming than uncontested divorce.
Even in cases of no fault, uncontested divorce in New Jersey, the spouse who files the complaint for divorce is called the plaintiff, and the divorcing spouse who responds to the complaint is called the defendant. This does not necessarily mean that the plaintiff and defendant disagree about ending the marriage or the terms that might go into a marital settlement agreement. Rather, the plaintiff and defendant are simply responsible for filing slightly different divorce paperwork.
Uncontested divorce in New Jersey, unlike in most states, requires a fast and simple superior court appearance known as an uncontested divorce hearing. However, most of the divorce process can still be accomplished via an online divorce platform, and it is not usually necessary for either spouse to hire a divorce attorney. Parties undergoing a contested divorce can expect to spend much more time in court, and each spouse will usually need to hire an attorney. In addition to traditional divorce proceedings in court, couples filing for contested divorce may opt for collaborative divorce or divorce mediation, which tend to be more amicable processes. If you do not wish to retain a divorce lawyer but you have some questions, it is sometimes possible to pay for a little bit of a la carte legal advice from an attorney at a family law firm.