3 ‘To-Dos’ Before Filing for Your Divorce

No doubt, divorce is difficult; but coping with this life-changing event can be made easier if you prepare for it ahead of time. Since January is one of the biggest months for divorce filings (often nicknamed “Divorce Month”), many couples use the concept of a chance for a fresh start to start off the New Year. The stress of the holidays can end up convincing couples that a divorce may actually be in the best interests of everyone and encourage them to take action on beginning the process. And the way this process begins will depend heavily on the relationship with your spouse. Taking steps to consult with a divorce lawyer in Monmouth or Ocean County can help to ease the strain on emotional stressors.

The legal divorce process begins when one spouse files a “Complaint for Divorce” with the Superior Court of New Jersey; but before that step happens, it’s important to consider these other three “to-dos”.

Gather Paperwork

Before announcing to your spouse that you’re seeking a divorce, it is important that all paperwork related to finances is gathered. This serves the dual purpose of making the process a little easier during negotiations involving the distribution of finances and ensuring that important documents or information aren’t being hidden in an attempt to limit property division. Get copies of original financial documents pertaining to expenses, income, investments, taxes, credit card statements, mortgage statements, loans, etc.

Save Up

Start saving up your own funds — a year’s worth of basic living expenses — before making the decision to file, as divorce filings take time to complete. Taking this step will help you in the first step to becoming financially stable and independent after your divorce.

Understand the Grounds for Divorce

Divorces filed in New Jersey fall under one of two different types: no-fault divorce or fault-based divorce. Under these two types of divorce, there are multiple kinds of divorce, so understanding them can help you prepare for it both emotionally and financially.

In the state of New Jersey, there are nine court-recognized grounds for divorce. Two of those grounds are considered no-fault grounds (irreconcilable differences and separation) by the New Jersey courts. The other seven (extreme cruelty, adultery, desertion, addiction, entering a mental institution, imprisonment and deviant sexual conduct) are considered at-fault grounds and may have to be proven in order to successfully obtain a divorce. Whatever your reasons for divorce may be, it is essential that you understand what your rights are prior to filing a Complaint for Divorce in Ocean County or Monmouth County, New Jersey.

Whenever possible, our firm encourages couples to resolve their differences through civil and cooperative methods such as collaborative divorce. We also offer divorce mediation services to help spouses work through sensitive issues such as child custody and domestic support.


Is your honeymoon over and you’re thinking about filing for your divorce this year? Divorce can be stressful and expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Taking the time to prepare can make a significant difference toward the outcome. If you are resolved to file for divorce in New Jersey, it is important that you seek out an attorney experienced in New Jersey divorce law to represent your interests and to guide you through the New Jersey divorce process. Contact Villani & DeLuca P.C. at 732-965-3350 to set up a free consultation and discuss what options you have moving forward to make your divorce an easier process from beginning to end.