While most people are aware that getting divorced involves several complexities, many are unaware of how complicated the process truly is. From the forms that need to be filed to the issues that need to be resolved, the list of steps that spouses in New Jersey must take to get divorced can seem endless.
Here is an overview of what is required to file for divorce in New Jersey:
1. New Jersey Residence
To be eligible to file for divorce in New Jersey, either you or your spouse must have lived in the state for at least one year. The only exception is if you are or your spouse is seeking a fault-based divorce on the grounds of adultery.
2. Grounds for Divorce
If you meet New Jersey’s residence requirement, then you must next determine whether you have “grounds” to file for divorce. While New Jersey law recognizes the fault-based grounds of adultery, extreme cruelty, and separation, most spouses file for divorce based on irreconcilable differences.
3. New Jersey Divorce Forms
New Jersey law requires several forms to be filed with the appropriate court to formally initiate a divorce. These forms include:
- Complaint for Divorce
- Confidential Litigant Information Sheet
- Certification of Self-Represented Litigant and Dispute Resolution Alternatives
- Certification Regarding Redaction of Personal Identifiers
- Certification Verification and Non-collusion
- Certification of No Pending Proceedings
- Certification of Insurance Coverage
Although filing these forms yourself is an option, we strongly recommend that you hire a New Jersey divorce attorney to represent you. It is easy to make mistakes, and mistakes could delay or negatively affect the outcome of your divorce. Additionally, beyond simply preparing and filing these initial forms, there are numerous issues you will need to carefully address during the divorce process, and you will want to be sure that you are making informed decisions based on the advice of an experienced attorney.
4. Filing Fees
New Jersey has a $300 divorce filing fee; and, if you have children, you will need to pay an additional $25 parenting workshop fee. Fee waivers are available in some circumstances.
5. Contested or Uncontested Divorce
When filing for divorce, you must also decide whether your divorce is contested or uncontested. An uncontested divorce is one in which both spouses agree concerning all of the issues involved in their divorce, which will allow you to proceed in a more simplified way to the end of the divorce. If you and your spouse are not in agreement on one or more issues when you file, it is considered contested and will require a complex procedure.
Speak with a New Jersey Divorce Lawyer for Free
Do you have questions about filing for divorce in New Jersey? If so, we encourage you to schedule a free initial consultation at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A. To speak with one of our experienced New Jersey divorce lawyers in confidence, call us at 877-435-6371 or contact us online today.