Understanding the Process Before Getting a Divorce in NJ

Divorce DecreeDivorce may occur for many different reasons, as the result of mutual separations or more one-sided requests. Either way, the timeline for obtaining a divorce varies on a case-by-case basis, particularly if there are children, debts, or extensive property to consider. Some parties may also prolong the official dissolution by refusing to sign papers or requesting additional negotiations. Whether you are undergoing a trial separation or are considering a permanent split, it is important to understand the process of divorce in NJ.

Petitioning for Divorce and Obtaining Temporary Orders

One spouse must officially file a petition with the local courthouse asking for the divorce, even if the decision was mutual. The petition will establish residency, record information about any children, and list the grounds for divorce. In New Jersey, this can include the no-fault ground “irreconcilable differences,” if, for example, you and your spouse have not been getting along for at least six months. Other reasons, such as adultery, must include additional information and evidence. The court will also consider any prior lawsuits, such as restraining orders.

Depending on a single party’s financial state and the shared number of dependents, one spouse may need to ask for temporary orders. These include temporary custody orders and temporary child support orders. Either spouse can request temporary orders, no matter who filed the petition. The documents remain in effect until the full court hearing.

Allowing Time for Response and Negotiation

Once one spouse has filed a petition, they must prove that a copy of the document was delivered to the other spouse and wait for a response. This response may dispute facts cited within the grounds for divorce, or disagree with terms of the arrangement. There are many things to consider while filing for divorce, including:

Child custody agreements
Child support
• Division of debts
• Division of property – (Equitable Distribution)
Alimony

Any requests and differences must be negotiated before the divorce can be finalized. The ability to resolve issues outside the courtroom will be much less expensive and stressful than debating them in court. Thankfully, working closely with a skilled family law attorney from Villani and DeLuca may help keep your case from going to trial.

Reaching the Official Dissolution

The divorce process in NJ ends with an order of dissolution. This document officially terminates the marriage and outlines all arrangements as determined through negotiations. If both parties agree with all aspects of the agreement before trial, they may submit their own order of dissolution to be approved. Otherwise, a judge will determine and issue the document following final negotiations.

Seek Legal Advice Before Filing for Divorce

For help navigating the divorce process in NJ, contact the law firm of Villani & DeLuca, P.C. We serve New Jersey courts throughout Monmouth County and Ocean County, and our client testimonials speak for themselves. With over 100 years of combined legal experience, the lawyers at Villani & DeLuca know how to handle your case from beginning to end. Call 888-389-9533 for a free initial consolation today.

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