New Jersey divorce details
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Uncontested vs Contested Divorce in New Jersey
An uncontested divorce is when the couple have come to an agreement regarding the issues of their divorce such as:
- Child support and visitation
- Child custody
- Property and debt division
If your spouse doesn’t agree with any of these issues, the divorce is a contested one. This type of marriage termination is longer than an uncontested one as it requires many more numerous court hearings. With an uncontested divorce, you even may not even have to go to trial. However, a contested divorce is impossible without the trial process. Furthermore, you are not required to hire a third person to regulate your proceedings in an uncontested divorce, but an attorney and mediator are required in a contested one.
Considering all these, we can confirm that an uncontested divorce is the best way to legally complete your marriage within the shortest time.
Uncontested Divorce in New Jersey
As we have already stipulated, an uncontested divorce is the easiest way to terminate a marriage. However, there are several grounds and requirements such as:
- Incurable illness (stipulated by the medical institution)
- Mental illness (stipulated by the medical institution)
- Cruelty towards one of the spouses
- Constant drunkenness;
All these grounds are approved by the court. But remember that your case is unique and your case will be examined in detail. Later, we will cover the issues of filing for the divorce and serving the spouse with the documents in an uncontested divorce.
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Residency Requirements to file for the divorce in New Jersey
You must meet certain residency requirements to file for divorce in New Jersey:
- At least one of the spouses has to live in New Jersey for 1 year
- In case the ground for the divorce is adultery committed in New Jersey, one of the spouses has to be a permanent resident of the New Jersey State.
- The couple should file in the Chancery Division of Superior Court county of the New Jersey State.
If you have not lived in New Jersey for a year yet, or your spouse is currently in the different state, you have to write a Petition to the Court to allow you the divorce process. The Court is entitled both to accept your Petition and reject it.
How to file for an Uncontested Divorce in New Jersey
To file for an uncontested divorce in New Jersey, you should be absolutely sure that all the State Requirements are met, and the Court will surely approve your willing for the divorce. The first step is to file a Petition with the court and pay the fees.The next step is to provide your spouse with all the documents required for the court, including the Property Settlement Agreement, Child Support Agreement, and others. For the document preparation, you can either hire an attorney or do it yourself. The Defendant then has approximately 21 days to sign the Petition. If they fail to respond within the time period, the court considers such case as a Default one. After the waiting period, the Court awards the spouses a date of the Final Decree (Judgement). At the Final Hearing, the couple will be given a Divorce Certificate, signed by the Supreme Court.
DIY Divorce in New Jersey
Do It Yourself divorce is the type of legal marriage termination when you do not apply for the help of an attorney and complete your divorce process by yourself. It requires huge responsibility and experience with the process. If you are unaware, the procedure can get quite tricky. You can save a lot of time and money if you prepare the documents for the court online. Moreover, you are guaranteed that they.will be accepted by the court.
The advantages of a DIY divorce include:
- Fast process
- Considerably cheaper
- Does not require an attorney
Although it is a very convenient process, but you should decide if you are a good candidate for one.
How much does an Uncontested Divorce cost in New Jersey?
The typical price for an uncontested divorce in New Jersey is $15,000. This price includes expenses such as:
- Fee for the divorce proceedings
- Fee for attorney help (if required)
- Fee for the preparation of the documents
There are various factors that influence the total cost of the divorce such as: the number of children in the family, the difficulty of the case, your willingness to employ an attorney, and others. The price for an attorney starts from $350 per hour. The approximate cost of a divorce process with minor children in New Jersey is $23,500, which includes the fee for an attorney (about $19,900).
How Long Does It Take to Get Divorced in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, the approximate time for an uncontested divorce is 6-7 months. However, a contested one can extend to 1 year or more. If you agree with your spouse on all the crucial issues, the process will not take too long as the court cannot finish the case until all the deals are solved.
How to serve your spouse in New Jersey
The Petitioner has to serve the Defendant with all the essential documentation. If you are the Petitioner, you have to make at least 2 copies of each document both for yourself and your spouse. In New Jersey, you have to serve your spouse within 30 days from when the Petition is signed. You can deliver your spouse all the documents personally or send the documents by email or post. If your spouse does not receive any of the paperwork for the first time, you should repeat this process.
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Documents You Need to Get a Divorce in New Jersey
Below is a list of the main documents you need to get divorced in New Jersey. Note that you are not required to complete all of them as it depends on your individual case.
- 10482 Family Case Information Statement (CIS) (LSNJ's form 3A)
- 10486 Confidential Litigant Information Sheet (LSNJ's form 3B)
- 11208 How to File for a Fee Waiver – All Courts (Partial match for LSNJ's forms 4 & 5)
- 11490 Certification of Diligent Search Kit (LSNJ's forms 9, 9a-h, 10a)
- 11191 Certification of Non-Military Service (LSNJ's form 18)
- Complaint about Divorce Based on Living Separate and Apart (NJ-801D)
- Separation and Property Settlement Agreement (NJ-803D)
- Certification of Verification and Non-Collusion (NJ-805D)
- Affidavit of Insurance Coverage (NJ-806D)
- Family Part Case Information Statement (NJ-4-36-2)
- Non-Military Affidavit (NJ-807D)
- Summons (808D)
- Acknowledgment of Service (NJ-KB-001)
- Request and Notice of Default Hearing (NJ-810D)
- Final Judgement of Divorce (NJ-811D)
- Answer and Waiver
- Complaint about Divorce
- Marital Settlement Agreement
- Judgment or Divorce
- Notice of Taking Records Deposition
It is important to remember that you are not allowed to send the documents to the courts online, you must print them out and file them physically.
Online Divorce in New Jersey
Online divorce refers to the process of preparing all the necessary documents accurately through an online service. You just need to order the papers, pay the filing fee, print out the documents, and file them at court. Such a process can help you save a lot of money as compared to getting the documents completed with the help of an attorney. For just $149, you can rest assured that the documents are prepared accurately and on time to be approved by the court.
Rules for child support in New Jersey
In the New Jersey State, both parents are responsible for the child’s wellbeing and prosperity. After the divorce process, parents still have equal rights to the child, according to the county legislation. Anyway, the court will act according to the child’s best interest by taking into consideration factors such as:
- Communicative skills of both spouses
- Presence of domestic violence towards one of the spouses
- Relations with the child
- Child’s wishes and the grounds for such a choice
- Physical state of both spouses
- Number of children
- Age of the children
- Income rate of both spouses
- Future financial outlook of both spouses
In case of a default divorce, the mediation process regarding child custody is a must-have. The court will definitely require it if you have any misunderstandings. The rate of financial support and visitation rights are stipulated by the court. If one of the spouses cannot come to the right decision, the mediator or the attorney will assist them.
Rules for spousal support in New Jersey
Spousal support plays a really important role in the whole divorce proceeding. The decision regarding financial support is based on several factors such as::
- Health state of both spouses
- Tax rate of both spouses
- Income of both spouses
- Living conditions of both spouses
- Future financial outlook of both spouses
Spousal support can be judged by the court and can also vary according to the court decision. If you want to take a bigger sum, you should ask the permission of the court. The Supreme Court has a right to reject or approve the Petitioner’s claim. Remember that all cases are different and you should do your best to agree with your spouse on a reasonable amount of spousal support.
Division of property in New Jersey
Factors that affect the decision regarding property division include:
- Duration of the legal marriage
- Age and physical state of both spouses
- Income of both or spouses
- Each spouse’s financial situation
- Child custody terms
- Tax rate of each spouse
- Current value of the property
- Individual debts of both spouses
- Future financial outlook of both spouses
Property can be marital and separate. Marital property is subject to division while separate property is not. Distinguishing between the two can be a rather tough process, so the more testimony you serve the court, the fairer the division of property is.
Divorce Mediation in New Jersey
Mediation is an alternative to dispute resolution. Mediation helps to reach a mutually acceptable Settlement Agreement. Thus, it is a very important option for an uncontested divorce, especially if issues regarding child custody and property division are involved. In New Jersey, the court requires every couple, who have the default divorce to go to the mediation procedure.
During the mediation session, the spouses meet and negotiate under the guidance of a qualified mediator. The mediator doesn’t order something, but they may provide advice on what decisions are reasonable and express their opinion on what the court would do in certain cases. The mediator basically helps the spouses to build a strategy for the divorce proceeding and reach an agreement.
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How to divorce a missing spouse in New Jersey
You can divorce a spouse in New Jersey even if you are unaware of their location. You must first attempt to serve them with all the necessary paperwork. You can ask their family and friends for their possible whereabouts or request the help of the local police. If your attempts are unsuccessful, you can announce a missing person report in the local newspaper with the approval of the court. Such a process can be more complex than a typical divorce process, but it is still possible to terminate a marriage without your spouse’s participation. If you have such a situation, you need to have a consultation with the legal body in advance.
Default Divorce in New Jersey
If one of the spouses does not take part in the divorce process or is not willing to file with the court, such a divorce is known as a default one. In New Jersey, you can divorce even without the agreement of your spouse. You need to file with the court a packet of essential documents and have a court hearing. Grounds for a default divorce are as follows:
- Extraordinary violence or cruelty
- Deceitful contract
- Absence of non-negotiable duties
- Excessive drinking
- Imprisonment of each spouse in a state or federal correctional institution at the same time of filling out the Petition
- Cultural/Religious/Health issues
In New Jersey, the waiting period before the court hearing is usually stipulated by the court, which is approximately six months. The Final Judgement and last proceeding are scheduled after the waiting period.
Default vs No-Fault Divorce in New Jersey
As we have already pointed out, a No-Fault divorce is rather easier than a default one. A default divorce can include some difficulties, and for this reason, it can take longer than the No-Fault one. Furthermore, the No-Fault divorce is much more economical than the default one.
How can I get a Default Divorce Hearing in New Jersey?
The Petitioner must first file with the court in the county that they live in. Then, both spouses should with the court all the valid documents for their particular case, according to the jurisdiction of the particular county. The Petitioner should provide the Defendant with copies of all the documents which are then examined by The Family Court. After all the papers are prepared, the court either approves or rejects them. The next step is to wait for the first hearing. All the following steps depend on the court verdict.
Annulment of marriage in New Jersey
Annulment of marriage determines that the marriage has never been legal. It is not an easier process than the divorce. For instance, there are some grounds for the annulment of marriage:
- The marriage process was a fraud
- One of the spouses was under the age of 18 at the time of marriage registration
- One of the spouses is seriously or mortally ill
- The fact of the marriage was forced by one of the spouses
The court will recognize every single issue before giving the final verdict regarding the annulment in New Jersey.
Legal Separation in New Jersey
The requirements for legal separation are almost the same as for the regular divorce procedure. The main difference is that legal marriage does not terminate a marriage and the spouses remain legally married. The spouses are not allowed to remarry or live together with another person else until their marriage is finally terminated according to the current legislation in the New Jersey State.
Same-Sex Divorce in New Jersey
Same-sex marriage and divorce were recognized by the legal Superior Court of New Jersey in 2017. The divorce process is the same as for any other regular divorce procedure. Nowadays, same-sex couples have the same rights as any other citizen of the New Jersey State and can have the same citizen position as the typical resident of New Jersey.
Military Divorce in New Jersey
You must first serve your military spouse with the necessary paperwork via email or post. If the area of the military service is within New Jersey, you may deliver the documents personally for them to file with the court. You can also ask the military commander of your spouse to help deliver the forms to them.
How to divorce a spouse in jail in New Jersey
The spouse in jail can also obtain the documents for the court through the post or personally from the Petitioner. The rest of the process of divorce is the same as a regular divorce procedure.
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Divorce filing fee
Court filing fees are in addition to the cost of using DivorceFiller.com. This cost may vary by county. Please check with your local courthouse to determine the exact amount.
Can a fee be waived?
The filing may be waived if are able to prove to the court that you are financially unable to pay for it. You must provide documents of your income and financial situation along with the reason why you are requesting to waive the fees in the Affidavit. The court then examines your request and either approves or rejects it.
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