Getting a divorce can be stressful and time-consuming, but the good news is you will make it through to the other side and find peace again. So, if you’re navigating a divorce in New Jersey, use this guide to understand the basics in order to end your marriage in the Garden State.
The spouse who requests a divorce is known as the plaintiff while the other spouse is known as the defendant. Even if the two of you are amicably divorcing with a mediator, the terms are the same.
To start the divorce process, the plaintiff files a “Complaint for Divorce/Dissolution” and one of you must be a New Jersey resident for, at the very least, 12 consecutive months.
For the party filing for divorce, you also must file in the county where the technical reason you use for your divorce occurred, even if you are now living outside of the county. We’ll cover grounds for divorce next.
If the two of you have lived apart for 18 months or longer, the plaintiff must file in the county where he or she last lived before or during the 18-month marker. One exception to all of this is if your grounds for divorce is adultery. In that case, just one of you has to be a New Jersey resident for any length of time. Now that you know some basics before filing for divorce, let’s discuss what the state of New Jersey considers as legal grounds for divorce.
When we say “grounds,” we mean reasons recognized in the eye of the legal system for granting a divorce. New Jersey has a few grounds for divorce: no-fault grounds for divorce and fault-based grounds.
No-fault grounds can be granted in two situations: if the marriage has broken down for at least six months or longer, and there is no possibility for the two of you to reconcile, or you have both lived apart for a year and a half and have no plans to reunite and reconcile.
Fault-based grounds are different. Here are a few reasons for granting a fault-based divorce:
Keep in mind that if you are using one of these reasons as grounds for divorce, the process is going to be more complicated as you’ll need to prove the matter.
What happens now that the divorce is filed?
Now that the plaintiff has filed the “Complaint for Divorce/Dissolution,” the defendant has 35 days after receiving this to either file for an appearance, file an answer or a counterclaim.
Filing for an appearance means: the defendant isn’t objecting to the divorce itself, but does not agree to what the plaintiff is asking for, whether it’s the entire request or one matter. Filing an answer just means that the defendant agrees or disagrees to whatever is stated in the complaint.
A counterclaim is something different. In this case, the defendant can give new information/reasons for the divorce.
If you’re getting a divorce in New Jersey, you will most likely be facing property division issues and potentially, matters of alimony and child custody. Here are some facts regarding all three of these big stressful issues:
Laws in New Jersey basically state that all property is marital property. When dividing up property, here are the things a judge will consider when deciding, essentially, who gets what.
As you can see there are many factors that play into how a judge will divide up your assets during the divorce proceedings in New Jersey.
If the two of you already have an agreement made, congratulations! The judge will typically abide by it, unless perhaps it is viewed as unfair to one of you or if one of you was coerced into agreeing to the matter. Otherwise, there are numerous factors that play into how long someone receives alimony and how much the person will actually receive like:
In general, alimony is not a clear-cut matter or case, and each divorce is unique.
Child custody is not a simple matter, so we will just stick to some basic facts here to prep you for your divorce in the Garden State.
Divorce can be a complicated, draining and expensive process, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re looking to file for an uncontested divorce in NJ, do it the easy way with our friends at It’s Over Easy, the only online divorce solution that guides you through every aspect of your case, founded by celebrity divorce lawyer Laura A. Wasser.
“After practicing Family Law for over 20 years I came to realize that people deserve a better way to get divorced. I founded It’s Over Easy to give people a high-quality, less expensive & more amicable option. Our platform takes the user through the entire dissolution process. We provide information and support along the way through our content on our Insights Blog, the Divorce Sucks! Podcast and The Index, our curated professional and lifestyle resource guide. Divorce is difficult but the legal part shouldn’t have to be.”
–Laura A. Wasser
Now that you know some basic facts on divorcing in NJ, have you considered some of the resources and support you’ll need to navigate the divorce process?
Keep this little checklist by your side as you navigate the process:\n
National Association of
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Legal Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice on any subject matter. Consult with an attorney for more information regarding your individual situation.
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